Let's see ... on Wednesday, RM (barn owner) volunteered to gather a fecal sample for all four horses at the barn and zipped them over to BVH for an eggs per gram fecal test. As usual, all four came back negative. The protocol here in town is bi-annual fecal counts followed by a dose of ivermectin.
Fecal counts aren't cheap, BVH charges $25 a pop, but I prefer that protocol over the bi-monthly system of dosing with a rotation of dewormers. The old style of deworming has proven to be ineffective and is actually detrimental since worms have become highly resistant to several classes of dewormers. Not a good thing if you have a horse who is actually wormy.
We follow a pretty good routine for reducing the chance of worm infestation. Stalls are cleaned daily, sometimes twice. Manure is composted far from grazing areas. Our "stalls" are also quite large which allows the horses to designate their own kitchen and restroom areas which my boys, especially Speedy, maintain quite meticulously. Not that it does anything to the worms, but RM also uses Fly Predators in the compost pile which just helps the barn's living conditions over all.
I gave the dewormer on Sunday. Sydney didn't take any coaxing, but he was a bit miffed afterwards and refused all the I am really sorry cookies. I have worked with Speedy accepting oral medications ad nauseam. Since it had been a while since our last session, we had a quick refresher course: molasses water in a syringe. Once he was taking that without the need for a halter, I coated the dewormer tube with molasses and popped it in. He was a bit surprised, but the molasses must have had an impact because he actually licked his lips and reached for the I am terribly sorry about this cookie.
Click photos for captions. (To read more about strategic deworming, check out this link. You have to scroll down a bit to see the article written by Dr. Blanton.)