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Bugs, Flies, and Parasites – OH MY!

May 7th, 2015

Keep your Horse Safe from Pests this Season

Whispering Hope Stables is a premier horse boarding facility located 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and our primary focus is to provide top horse care to all of our horses at WHS.

Spring is such important time of year, because it is the start of an equestrian’s riding and training season. You always want to make sure that your horse has the best transition into spring and maintains optimal health from flies and parasites!

At Whispering Hope Stables, we provide the best possible horse care throughout the year, no matter the season. We have adopted certain practices and procedures to keep our horses in the best possible health.

 

Fly Management

Whispering Hope Stables uses natural and organic methods to fight flies during the spring and summer. Flies are not only a nuisance, but some biting species like the “stable fly” can be painful to a horse and transmit diseases like equine infectious anemia (EIA).

Fly predators are tiny insects that do not bite or sting. They find and kill roughly 75 pest fly pupae before they hatch into pest or stable flies and they can travel around 150 feet. These little predators are virtually unnoticeable and they spend their entire life cycle in fly breeding areas like manure piles or rotting organic matter.Fly predator

We have been using Spalding Fly Predators for the past 3 years at Whispering Hope Stables and have been greatly pleased with the results. They significantly minimize the number of pest and stable flies. If you are going to use fly spray this season, we recommend you read the warnings and avoid dosing yourself while spraying your horse.

 

 

Deworming

In addition to Fly Management, the staff at Whispering Hope Stables deworms all horses twice a year, rotating the type of dewormer medication. The purpose of deworming is to decrease and eliminate the number of parasites in the intestines and colon. When temperatures rise in the spring, internal parasites boost their egg production. More eggs in the intestines or colon can potentially increase the risk of internal parasite infection, intestinal damage, and even colic.

We want to ensure the best care for each horse at Whispering Hope Stables and one way we do this is deworming. We request and arrange for our members’ veterinarians to pull fecal samples the month before deworming. Fecal samples are tested by the veterinarian in a laboratory to determine the fecal egg count. This is the number of eggs passing in each gram of manure, measured as eggs per gram (EPG).

When the test results come back, the number helps your veterinarian determine the type of dewormer. If the fecal egg count in a horse is less than 200-250 EPG, then the horse is showing a natural immunity and overall a low parasite load; your horse would then be considered a “low-shedder”.  However, if the test results for your horse come back with a number higher than 200-250 EPG, then your horse may have a high parasite load or considered a “chronic shedder” or “high-shedder”.

Horses which are chronic or high shedders may simply need to be dewormed more often than other horses to keep the parasite load down. For high shedder horses, veterinarians will usually recommend taking another fecal sample 10-14 days after the deworming. The results from this second fecal egg count enable the veterinarian to determine if there was any resistance to the dewormer medication and how often the horse will need deworming that year.

Some horses may need to be dewormed more often than others depending on the climate, geographic location, and fecal egg count. Most veterinarians will recommend that you deworm your horse at least twice a year, in the Spring and Fall, no matter the results from the fecal egg count. Dewormer medication also helps eliminate or decrease tapeworms and bots.

These are some of the practices that we have implemented at Whispering Hope Stables to minimize, manage, and eliminate pests and parasites. At Whispering Hope Stables, we want our members to enjoy their ride and know that their horse is receiving the best care possible.

 

Author Information:   Madeline Gioja, Office Manager at Whispering Hope Stables

To learn more about Whispering Hope Stables, please call (919) 851-6237 or email Madeline@whisperinghopestables.com.