As the winter months come to an end and we gear up for the busy spring season, it's important to remember to get your horse up-to-date on all their vaccinations and deworming.
At Countryside, we follow the core vaccination guidelines of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). The AAEP considers these vaccines essential to maintaining the health and well being of the average horse and some are even necessary to safeguard human health. Core vaccinations function to decrease the severity of specific diseases or to prevent them altogether. Unfortunately, there are no effective means of treatment for many of the diseases we vaccinate for and these diseases are nearly always fatal. That is why our goal is to provide the very best in preventive health care and keep your horse as healthy and disease-free as possible.
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The decision of whether or not to vaccinate a horse against other common equine diseases are based on several risk factors including:
We recommend the following vaccines for boarding stables, training facilities, show, and trail horses:
Deworming rotation programs have been the standard practice for many years. However, it is no longer the recommended practice as we are now seeing parasite resistance to many of the dewormers that are used. By inappropriately deworming our horse(s), we are actually contributing to the rapid growth of parasite resistance. At Countryside, we choose to take a more precise approach at deworming by targeting the parasites that are actually present, as well as the life stage the parasites are within the body. Fecal egg counts (FEC) are currently the best method of estimating worm burdens in your horse. FEC are easily performed and provide a tremendous amount of information necessary for parasite control. It is important to remember that dewormer programs need to be designed for each individual horse, not the entire herd or barn.
A fecal egg count allows us to identify each individual horse's worm burden through a fecal sample. It's important to understand that not all horses carry the same amount of parasites. Horses can be high, moderate or low egg shedders. Once a horse is identified, they can be properly treated. This prevents unnecessary deworming, which will help slow down resistance and it can save you money in the long run.
A fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) can be used to evaluate your horse's resistance. The goal of the test is to see if the wormer being used is actually effective and reducing the parasite load.
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