What You Need to Know about Equine Parasites


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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7 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Casie…Every time I read articles about parasites it seems very few mention the parasites that don’t show up on fecal egg counts. One of the horses I share life with almost always has a low to no fecal egg count so there should be no need for wormer …right? But every year ( if I don’t worm him with poison) he gets a summer sore in the corner of his mouth from Bot fly larvae that does not show up on fecal egg counts. The other two horses I share life with get Neck Thread worms…and these don’t show up either. I also think there are a few more …tape worms? I am a person who hates poison so would love to never worm again. The fact is though that many parasites do not show up on fecal egg counts and this really needs to be included in articles about parasites so that everyone can be better informed. I will also be learning to do my own fecal counts this year as I have recently been told that mail in fecal counts can not be relied on? I am no expert just a backyard horse girl who wants the best for the horses. Please elloborate if any of this is wrong.
    I just want to learn all I can✌❤️

    • Casie says:

      Hi Michelle, you are right in saying not all worms show up on FEC’s. They are a guide for deworming, but not completely foolproof. If other symptoms of high parasite levels are present, I wouldn’t hesitate to deworm. Tapeworms do not typically show up on fecals either, so if you live in a region where they are known to be a problem (or suspect them because of symptoms), I’d definitely deworm for those too. My main concern is people using chemical dewormers blindly (and way too often), thinking they’re doing the right thing, when in fact, they’re just adding to the resistance problem. We need to be smart about deworming, and it sounds like you definitely are.

      As far as the mail-in FEC’s, I don’t know about those. I’d rather just do them myself. It’s not hard if you have the right equipment.

  2. Lauren says:

    My rescue filly was absolutely infested when we brought her home, she was also terrified and unhandled so paste worming wasn’t really an option. We tried the pellet chemical products, but soon switched to an herbal that I have just kept them on monthly. I am going to order the kit you recommend, as I just like learning to do stuff like that anyway, but that way I can keep up on it for the horses and goats. Plus that kit costs about as much as our vet charges for 1 horse so that makes it totally worth it

  3. Cindy says:

    Hi, I was reading recently about how the old Cowboys deformed with chewing tobacco. Wondered if you’ve ever heard of this? I haven’t tried it, but wonder if it might be an alternative to the chemicals?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Cindy, I have heard of it, but I’m afraid I don’t know much about how well it works. Maybe someone else will chime in here.

  4. Fiona says:

    I’ve been doing my own counts for a couple months now for my horses, and wondering if you have any information on doing fecal counts for dogs/cats/other animals.. Are the same types of eggs present? I presume you do the test the same way, but just wondering if the results are dramatically different. Thought I’d ask around on here before taking it to my vet!

    • Casie says:

      Hi Fiona–great question. I don’t really have any info on smaller animals (mainly write about horse health), but I’m sure doing the FEC’s is feasible. The eggs will probably be somewhat different, but the process should be the same (just smellier!)

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