(Dr. Dan Thomson) Hey folks, welcome to DocTalk. Glad you joined us. Hey, thanks for you all sending us some hats. We got Adams, we got Hosmer Vet Clinic, we got Kansas Bull Test, Deseret Ranches and today, we’re going to have a show on Equine Parasite Control. Our guest, Dr. Chris Blevins, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to talk about some of the different worms that cause issues in horses and we’ll talk about how you can prevent them by working with your veterinarian.
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(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome to DocTalk. Dr. Blevins thanks for being here. (Dr. Chris Blevins) Yes. Thank you, Dr. Thomson. (Dr. Dan) Folks, we’ve got Dr. Chris Blevins here from Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center where he heads up our Ambulatory Equine Clinic. He’s an Associate Clinical Professor, but before we get to him, I want to say thanks. We got more hats that came in; continue to send us your hats. We’re going to get some hat racks and things built up but Deseret Ranches, Adams Land and Cattle Company, the Hosmer Veterinary Clinic in Hosmer, South Dakota and the Kansas Bull Test. Many different people, many different parts of US; Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas. It’s a lot of fun. Keep sending us your hats and we’ll keep putting them on the show. But today, we’re going to talk with Dr. Blevins about deworming horses. What are some of the problems we get with worms? What can they cause in our horses? (Dr. Chris) With horses, and really any kind of species it’s very similar, but with horses, we always think about colic and that of worms. But weight loss is the big one. That’s one of the reasons that owners deworm their horses, but also diarrhea. Those are kind of the three big ones. With pinworms, I could get a roughened tail head, itch in their hind end, but that kind is the main categories with problems that horses could get with internal parasites. (Dr. Dan) When we see an adult horse that’s out on the grass and it starts to get a pretty loose stool and it’s losing weight, that’s got to be one of your top differentials, right? (Dr. Chris) That’s right. That’s when you need to get a veterinarian involved and we’ll talk a little bit later about just the aspects of how the veterinarian can get involved with that as far as recommendations. (Dr. Dan) How does the colic occur? I can get the weight loss and the diarrhea from the parasites, but do we just get a worm burden or what causes the colic? (Dr. Chris) Yes. There is a possibility of colic due to worm burdens or insistent type of internal parasites within the lumen of the intestine. Also, some of the internal parasites migrate through the lungs, through different parts of the belly or abdomen and they can affect different aspects, not just the GI track, but also blood and blood supply. That could also be a big indicator and even be a life threatening. (Dr. Dan) When we see this, can it be infectious like horse to horse? Is it mainly pasture to horse? I’ve got stables we work with, we have people that have their own horses just kicked out on grass. What are the different scenarios? (Dr. Chris) Mostly, you’re right. It needs to have a pasture to get a lot of those strongyle-type eggs that we are most concerned with which most dewormers are trying to get rid of. But again, it takes blades of grass to kind of cycle that through. They can’t just go from one horse to the other even though we say fecal or oral, that’s usually the main thing with that. Now, pinworms and some other things, that can be on different things; buckets and stalls and stuff and ascarids, but mainly it has to go through blades of grass when you’re talking strongyles. (Dr. Dan) It’s similar to feedlots. We bring cattle in off the grass and put them in a dry lot. We don’t sit there thinking about them with worm burdens in a feed yard because we’ve pilled them off of the place where the ascarids and things that are being hosted. (Dr. Chris) Right, right. (Dr. Dan) Anything else as far before we go to break here on things that worms can cause? (Dr. Chris) I think worms can cause all kinds of things, even coughing. A coughing horse could be due to internal parasites. So really, anything internal parasites can be of different of facets, you’ve just got to get your veterinarian involved. (Dr. Dan) All right. Folks, when we come back, we’re going to start talking about some of this specific worms and things that you’re going to deal with, with your horses with Dr. Chris Blevins.
(Dr. Dan) Hi folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Chris Blevins. We’re at Kansas State University, and that’s where Dr. Blevins serves as our Ambulatory Equine Practitioner, and serving horses all around and clients all around the region. If you’re in our region and you need someone to come out and take a look at your horses, he’s the guy to have to do it. He’s an Associate Clinical Professor here in our Equine section. Again, thank you South Dakota, Nebraska, Florida, Kansas for sending us your hats. Continue to send those in. Well, Dr. Blevins, talk about some of the problems these worms can cause. What are some of the different worms that we’re concerned about? (Dr. Chris) We’re talking about two. A lot of them are strongyles and with horses, that’s our biggest concern that has to come through the pasture like we talked about. But also you can break down the strongyles into large strongyles and small strongyles. We hardly ever hear about large strongyles because the different dewormers we used have pretty much taken it out of, kind of, contention of being a problem. But if we ever stop deworming horses, I think that’s when we’re going to potentially have the large strongyles coming back. The resistance comes though small strongyles. They seem to be coming more resistant to a lot of our dewormers and that’s the very prevalent strongyle type eggs, but usually it’s the small strongyles we’re worried about. (Dr. Dan) What are some of the layman’s terms for the different strongyles and things to that nature that, not necessary little worms, but big ones, little worms? (Dr. Chris) Well, when you look at that, it can have all kinds of different, just internal parasites. Usually when we talk to owners, we just say strongyles or internal parasites is usually when we’re just talking to them. (Dr. Dan) Worm? (Dr. Chris) Yes, worms. Right. (Dr. Dan) What other types of worms? You’ve got a list here of different – (Dr. Chris) Yes, we have pinworms, when horses are itching in their hind end a lot, horses can get pinworms. It isn’t one that pinworm we’re worry about can go from different species, I mean this is a species specific so just in horses, and horses transmit to another horse. But if they start rubbing their hind end on stuff, getting roughened tail head, they could have pinworms. I think that’s something we always have to keep in mind based on that. If females actually deposit eggs around the outside, around underneath the tail, so that’s why they get itchy back there and that’s why they rub their tail. The other one would be tapeworms. It’s another one that we kind of see a little bit more. It comes through the oribatid mite. It has to be out on pastures, so that’s kind of the secondary host that oribatid mite as it goes, and it can affect internally, usually around the Cecum, the ileo-cecal area there, potentially colic, so we can deworm based on that. (Dr. Dan) I was going to say that’s probably when we’re going to see those colic type symptoms with those. It’s amazing how sensitive the horse’s gut is. (Dr. Chris) Yes, it’s one of the shock organs of the horse, so it’s one of those things where they can really react. (Dr. Dan) Cows are not so much. (Dr. Chris) No, they’re tough. (Dr. Dan) They’re, well I don’t know if they’re tough; they just don’t have the same system. Other things you want to get? We’ve got 30 seconds. We’re going to go to break. Different worms or different things that people ought to think about? (Dr. Chris) Yes, lungworms. Horses can get lungworms, and cough based on that. They can get it from donkeys, so just deworm your horse. You don’t have to euthanize the donkey or anything, but that’s stuff to remember. And then bots, everybody always hears about bots, in the stomach. They’ve seen pictures probably in different magazines and things, but that’s another one that can work with. (Dr. Dan) Well, don’t shoot your donkey as part of your worm prevention program, just deworm your horse. (Dr. Chris) Yes. (Dr. Dan) When we come back, we’re going to talk about some prevention strategies with Dr. Blevins, how to work with your veterinarian. You’re watching DocTalk. Thanks for joining us.
(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with my friend and colleague, Dr. Chris Blevins, who’s an Associate Clinical Professor here in the Veterinary Health Center. He heads up our Equine Ambulatory Clinic and sees a ton of cases, teaches a lot of students and does a lot of good for the equine industry all across our state and beyond. We’re thankful for him to take the time to come and be here today. We’re talking about worms and we’ve talked about what they cause. We’ve talked about the different worm types. Now, let’s get into, what are some of the things you and I are going to do to help clients prevent these from getting in their horses? (Dr. Chris) I think the big misperception of where people have been as far as deworming a horse is to just grab packages of dewormers that they can buy anywhere. That’s what’s recommended by the veterinarian, and that’s not necessarily the case. I think we need to make sure that we get the veterinarian involved with managing our worms in our horse, because we have resistance. We’re becoming more and more resistant. A lot of these worms are becoming resistant to a lot of the dewormers. It’s regional, but it’s one of the things that’s starting to come across the US. We have to be very careful about this and really how much we deworm and what product we use as far as deworming. (Dr. Dan) Okay. So, set me up on – let’s just – obviously, we want you to work with your local practitioner. But, just set me up on some basic principles that you would employ in your equine herd when it comes to worms. (Dr. Chris) Yes, I think the biggest thing is we start with running a fecal. And we do that during certain times of the year here around Kansas, because there’s what’s called hypobiosis or the aspects of when the animal or the worm sheds eggs. And so we want to get a good representative sample of that. Usually, that’s going to be the late spring or early fall time is when we’d like to run fecals on the horse to see how many eggs are been shared in there. And then we can figure out, “Is this horse a high shedder, medium shedder or a low shedder or no shedder as far as some of these eggs due to internal parasites? (Dr. Dan) I got you. So, when you do a fecal, are there, can I go out to the pasture? Is there a sampling technique you like or do I just take a freshly voided fecal sample and put it in a zip-lock bag or something and take it in the clinic, or what do I do? (Dr. Chris) Yes, I think again just talk to your veterinarian about what would be the best thing for that. But, usually what I’d do is tell them to grab the freshest sample they can find and it’s usually just a couple of fecal balls. We don’t need the whole pile. So, it’s just usually, just a couple of fecal balls in a zip-lock bag. If you’re going to submit it to your clinic the next morning, just put it in the fridge. But we just want it to stay cool and moist until you submit it to the lab. (Dr. Dan) Okay. So, go out, take and for me, I look for, I just carry zip-lock bags around in the gator or whenever and I see one freshly void, I’ll just go pick them up right there while they’re steaming. Then, I know I got a fresh one, I know that I got the sample, I’ll go ahead and cool them down. The next day is fine? (Dr. Chris) Yes. (Dr. Dan) Okay. And then when we get it in there, we’ve got about 30 seconds to break, when we get into the clinic, they will then run the fecal float? (Dr. Chris) Yes. So, they will look at it under the microscope and look for how many eggs. They’ll do an egg count and they’ll do that per concentration of that gram. It’s eggs per gram. It’s usually what we want to run it as. I think that’s something. In addition, usually with horses, we do individuals and not big herds. If you know which horse is defecating, we write that on the zip block, because we want to know each horse individually. (Dr. Dan) Perfect. When we come back, more about prevention of worms in your horses with Dr. Chris Blevins.
(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome back To DocTalk with Dr. Dan Thomson. I’m here with Dr. Chris Blevins and we’re talking about deworming. We’ve taken the samples. We’ve identified which horse they came from. We’ve sent them in the clinic and they’ve run their lab where you’ll run that before deworm and after deworm so you can see if there’s resistance. How do we determine if there’s resistance? (Dr. Chris) Yes, I think the biggest thing is to also remember when you collect the sample and I usually tell people, “Make sure it’s been at least a month since their last deworming when they’re getting their first sample. (Dr. Dan) Okay. (Dr. Chris) That’s usually what we do in that aspect. Then we kind of have a clean slate of where we are at. Don’t just deworm and then let’s run in a fecal just to see where we are at because more likely, it’s not going to be a good representative sample initially. Then after that, we make recommendations whether they are high shedders, medium shedders or low shedders based on their eggs per gram and the veterinarian can work with you in figuring out what dewormer, let’s try first. Usually, after you deworm, then we go two weeks after that and let’s see if it decreased that count. So I think that’s the biggest thing we want to make sure is, we get greater than 90% reduction in the eggs per gram after deworming. (Dr. Dan) And we’re doing those in cattle, the fecal egg reduction tests and different things of that nature. (Dr. Chris) Yes. (Dr. Dan) Talk to me about what you guys are recommending right now. What’s the core recommendation on deworming times of the year and obviously switching a product? (Dr. Chris) I think the biggest thing that we do is again, based on the fecal, usually a spring-fall deworming is usually what most – (Dr. Dan) Okay, so twice a year? (Dr. Chris) – twice a year and that’s even if there’s no parasites seen or minimal or low eggs per gram or a low shedder on a horse, why? Is because we don’t want large strongyles to come back and cause issues and that’s where it can get in the blood vessels and stuff like that we were talking about earlier. I think we have to be careful not to just stop deworming even when we run eggs per gram. (Dr. Dan) Okay and then we hear things about, I mean in cattle, we hear about the resistance but we only got a couple of products. Is that the same in equine? You only have a few products so when you talk about switching them back and forth and things to that nature, we do that some in beef but I don’t know how big a difference it makes. (Dr. Chris) Yes and I think that’s something that even in horses, we’re still trying to figure out like what’s going to be the best thing because prior to doing the fecals, it was like rotate dewormers and then people started just to rotate from one dewormer to the next every month and then we are potentially going to get more and more resistance, but possibly as we’re looking forward in the future there. I think that’s something we have to keep in mind, we have internal parasites, we have different dewormers but none that are new coming out. We have the Moxidectines, the Ivermectins, the Praziquantel for the tapeworms and then we have Panacur, Fenbendazole and other products that are out there. So it’s kind of minimal but we have those to kind of work with. (Dr. Dan) Great. Well, thanks for being on the show as always Dr. Blevins, is a great source of information, all things equine and a few other species as well. Folks, thanks for watching DocTalk. Remember, if you want to learn more about us, find us on the web at www.doctalktv.com. Always work with your local veterinarian from Dr. Chris Blevins; I’m Dr. Dan Thomson here at Kansas State University. Thanks for sending us your hats, thanks for watching DocTalk and I’ll see you down the road.
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