Control of helminth parasites in juvenile horses

C. R. Reinemeyer, M. K. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Parasite control in juvenile horses remains a substantial challenge for veterinary practitioners and their clients. This age group is at risk for various types of parasitic disease because their worm burdens tend to be larger and more diverse than in mature horses. This contrast is largely attributable to marked differences in relative levels of acquired immunity. Frequent, perennial anthelmintic treatment is not a sustainable approach for parasite control in this age group, but the simple, surveillance-based parasite control strategies recommended for mature horses are not appropriate for juveniles either. Maneuvering through the early years of a horse's life requires up-to-date knowledge about biology and epidemiology of the parasite species in play as well as local evidence regarding the anthelmintic resistance status of each herd. This article provides an overview of the most important helminth parasites to target in a control programme for juvenile horses, and highlights how the target species change as horses age. Young foals (<2 months) are exposed to Strongyloides westeri and Parascaris spp., whereas the primary target parasite in foals between age 2 months and weaning is Parascaris spp. Beyond weaning, the focus shifts away from ascarids, and the targets instead are strongyles and tapeworms. Gasterophilus spp. and Oxyuris equi are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalEquine Veterinary Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 EVJ Ltd


  • Parascaris
  • anthelmintic
  • horse
  • strongyle
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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