|eggs is referred to as the egg reappearance
period, also known as ERP. If you let the time period between de-wormings exceed the ERP,
you will likely experience a larger number of eggs and larvae on your pasture.
There are of course a number of different de-wormers on the market, and each one
may offer a different ERP. Horse owners will need to make sure that they are
aware of the different time lapses that their specific de-wormer recommends
before another treatment is sought. In addition to the foregoing, while there
are de-worming medications which can be given daily, they have been the subject
of much debate and are not generally recommended.
The reality of an infestation may be properly understood if one considers that a
horse’s parasite will lay eggs in the intestinal tract that are then excreted
via the stool. This manure ends up on your pasture, where the eggs hatch and
larvae appear. These little parasites will find their way onto the grass – many
of these small creatures may even inhabit one drop of dew – where they are
picked up by a horse. Once ingested, the larvae will enter the animal’s
intestinal tract where they will briefly hibernate before undergoing a change
that will propel them into the next stage of life where the entire process will
begin again. The affected horse will quite possibly present with diarrhea,
fever, and also colic. Horse owners may at first believe that the feed is to
blame and they may change it, further aggravating the horse’s affected
Quite possibly the biggest problem with respect to equine parasites is the
roundworm which affects quite often foals. The best policy here is a good
prevention program. By putting your animal on a proper treatment schedule that
runs every 30 to 45 days once the foal reaches one or two months of age, you
will be able to banish this rather resistant infestation from your horse. To
make certain that you have a good handle on any possible worm issues, it is wise
to have your veterinarian conduct a semi-annual fecal egg count. This will
permit you to tweak your de-worming program should it prove to be ineffective.
Additionally, if you are able to rotate different animals into your pasture to
break the parasites’ lifecycle, you may be able to get ahead of the game.