Parasite control strategies used by equine owners in the United States: A national survey

M. K. Nielsen, M. A. Branan, A. M. Wiedenheft, R. Digianantonio, L. P. Garber, C. A. Kopral, A. M. Phillippi-Taylor, J. L. Traub-Dargatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The widespread occurrence of anthelmintic resistance in equine parasites across the world has led to recommendations of fecal egg count-based parasite programs to reduce treatment intensity and thereby delay further development of resistance as much as possible. The most recent study describing equine parasite control in the United States was conducted 20 years ago, and little is known about current strategies employed. This study was part of the National Animal Health Monitoring Systems (NAHMS) Equine 2015 Study, and aimed to describe equine parasite control strategies in the U.S. and evaluate to which extent respondents were in compliance with current guidelines. The study was carried out in 28 states, representing 70.9% of all equine operations with at least five equids present. Two questionnaires were administered, either by mail or delivered in person by veterinary medical officers. Participants provided specific details of their operation and were asked questions about strategies for anthelmintic therapy and diagnostic testing. A total of 380 operations provided data regarding their parasite control practices. Most respondents dewormed 2–3 times a year with ivermectin being the most commonly used anthelmintic. About 22% of respondents used fecal egg counts (FEC) in some form, with less than 10% using them on a regular basis. Less than 5% made use of fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT). These results suggest little change since the last nationwide survey was conducted in 1998, as the majority of respondents did not report using FECs. This is in stark contrast to recent European surveys, where 50–60% of respondents were using FECs routinely. However, the anthelmintic treatment intensity appears to have been lowered compared to 1998. Taken together, these results suggest a continuing need for education and outreach regarding sustainable parasite control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
StatePublished - Jan 30 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Control
  • Equine
  • Parasite
  • Programs
  • Questionnaire
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


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