March 30, 2015

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome to Doc Talk. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson, glad you joined us today. We’re gonna have a great show. Our guest is Dr. Chris Blevins, who’s an equine veterinarian and works at the Veterinary Health Center here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. We’re gonna talk about getting rid of parasites in your horse. Stay tuned and enjoy the show.

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(Dan) Hey folks, welcome to the show. Chris, welcome back. (Chris) Thank you very much. (Dan) Folks this is Dr. Chris Blevins. He’s an assistant professor and equine field service clinician here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and always great to have you on the show. You do a great job. Do a lot of great things here at K-State and it’s a pleasure to work with you. (Chris) Well thank you. It’s nice being here and it’s always a pleasure being around you. (Dan) I appreciate that Chris. Parasites is a big deal with horses. And we talk a lot about worms and getting rid of worms and preventing them and different strategies and different products and things to that nature. I’m sure that you spend a lot of time in your practice and field service working on these types of issues. (Chris) Yea and it’s one of those things where a lot of people…there’s like old renditions of what you should be doing. You know back in the ’60s a lot of people are still doing the same thing for deworming horses, and we found it’s not necessarily what we should be doing now and well, we still have the same worms. (Dan) OK. Well, speaking of the worms. Let’s get into kind of… you’ve made a list out here of the different worms that we need to be concerned about and ascarids and strongyles and different worms of that nature. Let’s just kind of go down through them and talk about the worms and their affects. (Chris) Yea, you know with horses and the different internal parasites or worms a big one would be ascarid type worms and I think some people need to remember that ascarids usually only affect young horses. So, usually they’re gonna be less than three years of age. They get an immunity to ascarids as they get older. But when we kill the ascarids, people have to be careful cause if you kill ’em all at one time especially in these youngsters, they can get ascarid impactions, colic, and could even die. So we have to be careful with those. In consulting with veterinarians and things of ascarids then how to get rid of them is going to be important with that. Sometimes they can even cough because of the ascarids, they migrate through the lungs. So, that with horses is something to always kind of keep in mind too. The other one is strongyles, so small strongyles is the big one, a lot of resistance to some of the dewormers. But that’s the big one that causes weight loss and stuff in horses. All of the internal parasites are fecal/oral transmission. So, they’re picking it up through their mouth, going through the GI tract and coming out the other end in the feces. So, I think that’s something else to kind of keep in mind especially with the strongyles. The other thing would be you know, we have pin worms in horses and sometimes they’ll be itching their hind end on different things. And again, that’s gonna be a kind of oral transmission where they’ll rub it on buckets somebody else picks from that bucket when they’re rubbing on it there. But roughen tail heads, those kind of things could cause that. And then donkeys can transmit lung worms, that’s another thing that you know to other horses and they can cough. But you don’t necessarily have to get rid of the donkey, just deworm the horse. (Dan) And deworm the donkey. (Chris) And deworm the donkey, yea. (Dan) Yea, cause sometimes we sit there and you know you deworm the horses of more value, and you forget about the one out back or the Shetland that you kept because the kids used to ride it and it’s a pet. (Chris) Yea. And that might be the shedder. That might be the one that has the most worms. (Dan) We get to that one and make sure that we get to all of ’em. Any other things on the worms? We’re gonna have to go to a break here in a second. (Chris) Yea, the other thing would be like bots. You know everybody kind of is worried or hears a lot about that when they read their horse magazine and stuff about bots and the little yellow eggs that are on the legs of the horse and get into the stomach and those kind of things. And really the main thing that bots do is a worry factor, where they look like little bumble bees, these little flies that deposit the eggs on the horses legs. And then the horse is running around. They can even jump in ponds during the fall time, just trying to get away from them. It usually doesn’t hurt ’em it’s just kind of a nuisance and so that’s the big deal. Bots in the stomach, people have seen pictures of those before just kind of have those aspects. May be cause gastric ulcers, but there are dewormers that get rid of those too. (Dan) Perfect. Folks, we’re gonna take a break. When we come back more with Dr. Chris Blevins on equine parasites.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to Doc Talk. Chris Blevins is with us today. He’s an assistant professor and he’s the equine field clinician here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Does a lot good things in the classroom teaching. Does a lot things with our students, but he has a field service where you’re going out and you’re seeing horses, you’re seeing cases throughout the Manhattan, greater Manhattan, Topeka… (Chris) Yep. Even Topeka. (Dan) You’re at horse shows, rodeos. (Chris) Yes. We do ’em all. (Dan) All around the state. (Chris) Dodge City, we go down the Dodge City rodeos. So, we travel a little ways. (Dan) That’s great, that’s great. So, we’re talking about getting rid of worms in horses. And so we talked about the worms and you know, the next logical… bugs then drugs. (Chris) Yea. (Dan) And so what are some of the dewormers that we’re talking about? (Chris) You know, whenever there’s a lot of dewormers actually out there for horses, at least options based on what people call them or a company’s give names to them. There’s aspects of daily pelleted dewormers, so they can just put dewormer in the food. And horses can pick up those dewormers. Daily is usually how a lot of those are. There’s some that can be pelleted once a month type dewormers too. So, it can be in the food, so they’ll just eat it that way. A lot of ’em that are out on the market are some kind of a paste syringe, it’s in a syringe and they just paste the dewormer in the horse there in the mouth. And that again can be different in what places kind of recommend based on those things, can be variable also. You know and whenever you look at those and some of those active ingredients that are in them, company’s call ’em different things, but a lot of times if you just look at the active ingredients, they’ll be very similar. One of the ones that is very common is ivermectin. And ivermectin is one of the most common that is a dewormer for the horse. We do have moxidectin that’s also in some of the dewormers. Pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole and then praziquantel, tapeworm. So horses can get tapeworms too and one of the dewormers that helps get rid of those is praziquantel is the active ingredient that’s in that. (Dan) So, most of them, ivermectin are probably your most common. And the fenbendazole… (Chris) Yep. (Dan)…type dewormers and I’m assuming that they all come in the different forms and opportunities to give to your horse. (Chris) Right. Yea, most of the time though when you look at a lot of those different aspects, they come in a paste. The pyrantel pamoate can come in a pellet and some of those aspects of dewormers. But a lot of ’em are in a paste format. And usually with a combination. So, like an ivermectin, praziquantel that can be like a tape care plus or something like that. There’s different combinations usually of those dewormers too that are out there. (Dan) And I’m sure we’ll get to it when we get into the next segment but you know, you want to make sure that you work with your veterinarian and develop… can there be regional differences in parasites or are they all pretty much the same around the world? (Chris) There are kinda of…as far as the United States and a lot of places around the world have the same type of internal parasites, so I think that’s something else to kinda keep in mind that it’s very similar through horses. They pick up the same type of worms. And there’s a lot of speculations and different things that they can do to deworm. But yea, it’s kind of dependent on what they find. (Dan) Cool. We’re gonna take a break folks. When we come back more with Dr. Chris Blevins on controlling parasites in your horse. Thanks for watching Doc Talk. More after this.

(Dan) Folks, welcome back to Doc Talk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with my friend and colleague Dr. Chris Blevins who is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and is our equine field service clinician here in the Health Center at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. And Chris we’re talking about deworming the horses and we got into there towards the end talking about combination dewormers and using pastes and pellets and ivermectin and fenbendazole. But one of the things I keep hearing about is resistance of the worms to the products. (Chris) Yea and I think that’s something else that some people, they get overloaded by advertisement of all these products and so then it’s like…well veterinarians recommend to deworm once a month and you can get these deworming packages and all kinds of things and what are we doing? And we’re finding based on some of the research is, these internal parasites are becoming resistant to our dewormers that we’re using. And so we need to back away from using all these dewormers all the time if the horse doesn’t need it. So, to do that usually what we’re doing now is to recommend to run a fecal. (Dan) OK. (Chris) So take a fecal sample to your veterinarian and then they can see what kind of eggs are in the feces and then make recommendations on the dewormers. In addition you can deworm and see if that deworm works by then taking a fecal back into your vet to see if there is resistance. And so that is something that is becoming very common especially here in the United States because we are over deworming our horses that don’t need it. So, running a fecal. (Dan) So, when we talk about…first of all horses do a nice job of packaging… (Chris) Yea, yea. (Dan) Pick up a hockey puck and you take it it and you get it run. But how long should I wait? Let’s say…and I agree always work with your veterinarian on this, but how long should I wait from, let’s say I want to see if… I own a horse barn and I want to see how long it is from the time that I start deworming to effectiveness. How long do you wait until you take that second sample? (Chris) Yea, so it’s always good to take the first sample prior to doing any deworming, so you know how many number of eggs are in there. And then it’s usually about one month. (Dan) OK. (Chris) So, one month after you deworm then you take another sample in to see what the egg count is at that point. So, that’s kind of a fecal egg reduction test. So, what is the number reducing to based on the dewormer. (Dan) We’re doing some of that in the feedlot in cow operations as well so that you can see…you know, come in there and it kind of gives you a time table and an opportunity to really see the efficacy within your herd or that. But… people need to realize the lifecycle of that worm, 21 to 28 days depending on the worm. That gets you clean through a life cycle, make sure you’re working. (Chris) Correct, correct. Yea so you just have to wait a little bit of time and then run the fecal again and see where you’re at. (Dan) Cool. You know when you’re developing these plans after you’ve run a fecal, you know we talk about preventing resistance and we talk about making sure that these continue to work, but it will also save you some money if you do it. (Chris) Yea, it’s right. I think that some owners, they kind of forget about that too. Because if you’re over deworming your horse, or you’re deworming every month, maybe you just need to deworm once or twice a year. And so if there’s low fecal egg counts, then maybe all you need to deworm is just twice a year. And that’s kind of mind blowing for some owners cause they’re just not used to doing that. But that’s really can save ’em a lot of money too in the long run. (Dan) Yea, when you start thinking about some of them that are doing it once a month or so frequently it’s something that could save them a lot of money. (Chris) Right. (Dan) Well, we’ve talked about the worms, we’ve talked about the dewormers and we’ve talked about some of the prevention. When we come back we’re gonna do kind of a wrap up. Here with Dr. Chris Blevins, talking a little bit more about controlling parasites in your horse. Chris, thanks for being here. (Chris) Thank you. (Dan) Folks, thanks for watching. More after these messages.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to Doc Talk. Dr. Dan Thomson and Dr. Chris Blevins. We both work here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where Chris is an assistant professor and serves as our equine field service clinician in our Veterinary Health Center at the vet school. And we’re talking about deworming and you’re talking about tapeworms as we were in the break, about making sure right after the first freeze, that you want to treat ’em. (Chris) Yea, you know some people they need to understand that there’s sometimes a secondary host that kind of picks up and transmits it, so then horse can pick it up. So, there’s a mite that’s usually out in the pasture. It carries the tape mite, or the tape worm and so usually I tell people wait and deworm for tape worms after the first freeze cause the mite doesn’t usually do very well after it kind of gets cold and freezes in the pastures. (Dan) Cool. So, I don’t have to go buy these deworming products at the vet clinic, but it’s probably important to make sure I’m working with the vet even though if I’m not buying them from him or her. (Chris) Right. Cause I think that’s something that some people they just see a lot of
advertisements on what they could buy out on the internet or where ever and they can be packages of dewormers and it looks great cause you’re saving money here and there, but maybe we’re over deworming that horse and you don’t need to buy the whole package type dewormers. Or just buy this product or that just haphazardly so working with your veterinarian and trying to figure out this horse actually just needs once a year or twice a year this horse had a high load, it’s shedding in the pasture, maybe it’s gonna shed to those other horses, let’s deworm it more frequently. And so having those individual bases and testing can help you manage internal parasites especially on farms or just the one horse in the pasture type deal. (Dan) You bet. You bet. Well if people want to go and find out more, you’ve got some websites and some different places that people can go to. What are some the things that you look at or that you’ve produced. (Chris) Yea and I think that a lot of people…there’s great information out there. The AAEP, which is the American Association of Equine Practitioners they have a website, it’s And you can go and look and see what deworming guidelines, it’s actually a very current one that they just wrote last year on internal parasites, what we should do, what you’re seeing and you can read a lot of information on there. And it’s usually just access to the public based on that. And then you could always kind of do a search engine and just do “KSU timely topic deworming recommendations” and it will pop up through our website here at the vet school and you can get some great information, what eggs per gram and those thing that we kind of briefly discussed and how those go. (Dan) Perfect. Well, thanks for being on the show. (Chris) Yea. Thank you very much. (Dan) Great information as always. Folks, Dr. Chris Blevins here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. If you want to know more about what Dr. Blevins and I do here at K-State you can find us on the web at Remember we always recommend that you work with your local practitioner. You’ve been watching Doc Talk today. We’re glad that you joined us I’m Dr. Dan Thomson from Kansas State University and I’ll see you down the road.

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