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Vet Parasitol. 2002 Oct 16;109(1-2):101-10.

A survey of helminth control practices in equine establishments in Ireland.

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Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


We report the results of a survey to assess the attitudes of horse owners and managers of equine businesses in Ireland to the control of helminth parasites, and the extent to which veterinary practitioners are involved in providing advice on parasite control of horses. Replies to our questionnaire indicated that there is a high level of awareness on the need for helminth control, typically leading to several doses of anthelmintic being administered to each animal every year. While a majority of respondents (61%) were concerned about the issue of anthelmintic resistance, only a few were of the opinion that it was a problem on their establishment. Measures to minimise the development of resistance, such as decreasing the frequency of dosing, optimising non-drug-based control strategies and assessing the need for dosing by faecal egg counts (FECs), were not widely employed in a strategic manner. Just over half (54%) of respondents indicated that they devised worming control programmes based on veterinary advice, and a large majority did not perceive any need for modification of their current worm control programmes. We concluded that there is considerable scope for increased veterinary involvement in the design and implementation of control programmes for helminths in horses, and that veterinarians do not always provide advice in accordance with "best practice" in helminth control.

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