The other school of thought when it comes to de-worming is that more and more resistance is being documented to almost every class of de-wormer we have available today. This school of thought says we need to be using as little de-wormer as possible, daily de-wormers should be abhorred and avoided like the plague, and fecals should be used to determine if a horse should be de-wormed and with what class of chemical.
There are compelling arguments for both trains of thought. I have been swayed by both sides and I still don't know exactly where I stand. I do know that I have read enough articles documenting the rampant resistant caused by using daily de-wormers that I am not going to be considering that route. That being said, as I understand it, we would have the right type of set-up for using a daily de-wormer since we essentially have closed herds. I am not saying I am against the use of the daily wormers at all, and in fact many (many!) years ago used daily de-wormer on my own horses. I stopped mainly because I did not like the idea of putting poison in my horses on a daily basis.
After having a long discussion on the topic of de-worming with one of our vets today I think I am going to start collecting fecal samples and having them tested. I am not going to go out and collect 30+ fecals samples tomorrow, but over time plan to collect samples. The horses are in the barn regularly for grooming, seeing the farrier, etc. so there should be ample opportunity to collect samples. I can't think of a more glamorous way to spend a day. I can imagine the looks of horror on the faces of my non-horsey friends when they ask me what I did at work today and I respond with "I collected fecal samples."
I don't know if I am quite ready to make the leap of only de-worming based on fecals, but I do want to know if we have any resistance issues on our farm with any of the wormer classes. I would also like to try and identify the horses that tend to be 'worm carriers,' those horses that don't naturally have high immunity to worms. I have my guesses about which horses these might be. The current de-worming regime is every other month using rotating classes of chemicals based on the time of the year. Maybe we can develop a more targeted protocol using the fecals.
I guess the bottom line is I am still wavering between the two schools of thought and I am not quite sure where I fit in yet. Your thoughts are welcome, I am very interested in hearing how and why you arrived at your current de-worming protocol.
The adorable Cuff Links
Sebastian and Winston
Gray mares on the run, Harmony, Buffy and Lily
Harmony and Buffy