Prescription-only anthelmintics - A questionnaire survey of strategies for surveillance and control of equine strongyles in Denmark

M. K. Nielsen, J. Monrad, S. N. Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


In 1999, legislation in Denmark made anthelmintic drugs available only by prescription, and prohibited their use for routine, prophylactic treatment. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2004 to determine current strategies for surveillance and control of equine strongyles used in Danish equine veterinary practices. Eighty-seven of 170 (51.2%) registered equine veterinary practices responded. Ninety seven percent of the respondents used faecal egg counts for diagnosis and surveillance, and 41% used larval cultures. Logistic regression revealed that the use of larval cultures was positively correlated with numbers of employees (P = 0.013) and the proportion of equine caseload in the practice (P < 0.000). Performing faecal egg counts and treating horses was most frequent during spring, summer and early autumn. Veterinary practices made treatment decisions based on cut-off values ranging from 20 to 500 eggs per gram (EPG) faeces. Ages of horses, clinical suspicions of parasitic disease, or requests by the owners were the most important factors in the strategies for faecal sampling. Less commonly, sampling strategies included all horses on the premises and random sampling. Ninety five percent of the respondents reported treating certain groups of horses without prior faecal analysis, including horses with clinical signs of parasitic disease (77%), foals (84%), horses less than 3 years of age (52%), and pregnant mares (51%). The respondents regarded the cyathostomin group as the most prevalent cause of parasitic disease and ill-thrift, followed by large strongyles and Parascaris equorum. Sixty seven percent rotated regularly between drugs, while 11% performed routine screening for anthelmintic resistance. Results of this survey suggest that limiting equine anthelmintics to prescription-only availability has increased the level of strongyle surveillance. Veterinary practitioners play a central role in equine parasite management with indications of a lowered intensity of treatment. However, screening for anthelmintic resistance remains uncommon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006


  • Control
  • Horse
  • Prescription
  • Questionnaire
  • Strongyles
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Prescription-only anthelmintics - A questionnaire survey of strategies for surveillance and control of equine strongyles in Denmark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this