Herd Health

Deworming and vaccination information to keep your herd healthy.

The Piedmont Equine Practice recommends deworming horses on a conservative schedule that is based on performing Fecal Egg Counts (FEC). This is due to the rising concern for parasite resistance to our current dewormers and is based on numerous scientific research studies. Please note: even if your horse’s Fecal Egg Count is zero, a base schedule of deworming is still recommended as the sample provided may not have been representative or the horse may not have been shedding parasite eggs at the time of sample collection. 

Deworming Schedule for: 

“Low Shedders (under 200eggs per gram on Fecal Egg Count) 

 

March – April 

Beginning of worm control cycle: 

* Perform a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) on each horse
* Treat all horses regardless of the FEC results (entering heavy parasite season) 

* Use QUEST (moxidectin) 

QUEST (containing moxidectin) is an ideal dewormer for spring when encysted small strongyles typically emerge. QUEST effectively treats and controls encysted small strongyles in a single dose. There is more reported resistance of strongyles to Panacur (fenbendazole), however a five-day regimen of Panacur (Panacur Powerpac) may also be effective against strongyles on some farms without resistant worms. A Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) can help to determine if resistance is present on your farm. 

July  No treatments are needed over summer months for low shedders due to low worm burden at the start of the season. Parasites do not thrive in hot, dry conditions. 

 

September 

 

* Perform a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) on each horse
* Treat all horses regardless of the FEC results (conditions now more favorable for parasite spread) * Use QUEST PLUS (moxidectin/praziquantel) QUEST PLUS is the ideal deworming choice for late fall administration as it not only kills bots and strongylesbut also contains an additional active ingredient – praziquantel – that specifically targets tapeworms. Tapeworm treatment is recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) once a year, in the late fall or early winter after tapeworm transmission ends due to cold weather. 
January (optional) 

As an option, you may treat with an ivermectin-containing product at this time to clear stomach bots. This will help to decrease transmission among horses the following season. 

Otherwise, treatments are not needed over the winter as conditions are not favorable for parasite growth and transmission (much like during the hotter months of the summer). 

 

Deworming Schedulefor: 

“Moderate Shedders (200-500 eggs per gram on Fecal Egg Count)AND 

“High Shedders” (500+ eggs per gram on Fecal Egg Count) 

March – April 

Beginning of worm control cycle: 

* Perform a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) on each horse
* Treat all horses regardless of the FEC results (entering heavy parasite season) 

* Use QUEST (moxidectin) 

QUEST (containing moxidectin) is an ideal dewormer for spring when encysted small strongyles typically emerge. QUEST effectively treats and controls encysted small strongyles in a single dose. There is more reported resistance of strongyles to Panacur (fenbendazole), however a five-day regimen of Panacur (Panacur Powerpac) may also be effective against strongyles on some farms without resistant worms. A Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) can help to determine if resistance is present on your farm. 

June  Use Strongid paste (pyrantel).
Repeat FEC 14 days after treatment (this is a Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test) to be sure the worm burden has decreased appropriately. 
August  Same as June ONLY if HIGH SHEDDER. 
September  * Perform a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) on each horse
* Treat all horses regardless of the FEC results (conditions now more favorable for parasite spread) * Use  QUEST PLUS (moxidectin/praziquantel) QUEST PLUS is the ideal deworming choice for late fall administration as it not only kills bots and strongyles, but also contains an additional active ingredient – praziquantel – that specifically targets tapeworms. Tapeworm treatment is recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) once a year, in the late fall or early winter after tapeworm transmission ends due to cold weather. 
January (optional, though recommended for high shedders) 

As an option, you may treat with an ivermectin-containing product at this time to clear stomach bots. This will help to decrease transmission among horses the following season. 

 Otherwise, treatments are not needed over the winter as conditions are not favorable for parasite growth and transmission (much like during the hotter months of the summer). 

 * New arrivals to the herd with an unknown deworming history should have a FEC done and be treated with Quest. Two weeks later a second fecal sample should be taken and analyzed (Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test) to determine what resistant worms, if any, the horse is carrying. If tapeworms are evident on fecal at any time, QUEST PLUS should be used instead. 

* When bringing fecal balls to the clinic for the FEC, one ball per horse is sufficient.  

Guidelines for Deworming Foals: 

* Dose at least 25% higher than the foal’s estimated body weight.
* Do not deworm until at least 60 days of age.
* Do not use Quest (moxidectin) or ivermectin until around 6 months of age (weaning). Primary worm burden prior to 6 months of age is Ascarids (resistant to moxidectin/ivermectin), so deworming should focus on removing this burden (e.g. through use of benzimidazoles). 

* After about 9 months of age, deworming should focus more on removing strongyles (using moxidectin) than removing Ascarids (using benzimidazoles).
* Schedule Fecal Egg Counts at 6 and 12 months of age. Deworming strategy may be altered depending upon the results of the FEC. 

 

Deworming Schedule for Foals (under 12 months old): 

2 months  Anthelcide (oxibendazole) or Panacur (fenbendazole) 
4 months  Anthelcide (oxibendazole) or Panacur (fenbendazole) 
6 months 

Strongid (pyrantel) and perform Fecal Egg Count 

*May recommend ivermectin/moxidectin at next deworming if high strongyles seen here 

months  Anthelcide (oxibendazole) or Panacur (fenbendazole) 
10 months  Quest Plus (moxidectin/praziquantel) 
12 months  Quest 

Piedmont Equine Practice recommends the following vaccinations. 

Please note: these guidelines are for horses previously vaccinated for these diseases  

**please discuss with your veterinarian if your horse has not been previously vaccinated for these diseases or if vaccination history is unknown, as booster series are required and vary based on the vaccine** 

 

 Spring – 

REQUIRED 

  • CORE EQ (Zoetis) – EWT (Eastern and Western Encephalitistetanus), West Nile Virus, and Rabies 

OPTIONAL  

  • Potomac Horse Fever (highly recommended in our region) 
  • Flu/Rhino (recommended/required for show horses) 
  • Strangles IN (intranasal) (recommended for show horses) 

 Fall – 

REQUIRED 

  • West Nile Virus or EWT/WNV (combination vaccine recommended if heading South for the winter, where Encephalitis is more common) 

OPTIONAL 

  • Potomac Horse Fever (highly recommended in our region) 
  • Flu/Rhino (recommended/required for show horses) 
  • Botulism (recommended for horses fed round bales during the fall/winter) 

 

 Broodmares – 

Most vaccines for broodmares are given 4-6 weeks prior to expected foaling (CORE EQ, PHF, Botulism, etc.), providing that the mare has previously been vaccinated for the disease. If your mare has not been previously vaccinated, please discuss with your veterinarian as a booster series may be needed. An exception is the Herpesvirus (EHV-1) vaccine, which should be given at (+/- 3 months), 5 months, 7 months, and 9 months of gestation. The EHV-1 vaccine administered should be specifically designed to prevent abortion caused by Herpesvirus infection (e.g. Pneumabort). 

– Weanlings – 

Most vaccine series for weanlings are started around 4-6 months of age. Please see below for the AAEP recommendations for vaccinations for foals from vaccinated dams. If you have a foal from a dam that was not vaccinated or has an unknown vaccination status, please contact your veterinarian as some of the vaccination schedules may be different. 

 

 

Foals with vaccinated dams: 

AGE  VACCINES DUE (* = optional) 
2-3 months  Botulism (1 of 3) * 
4-6 months 

Eastern and Western Encephalitis (1 of 3) 

Tetanus (1 of 3) 

West Nile Virus (1 of 3) 

Potomac Horse Fever (1st dose at 5 months, 1 of 3) * 

Flu/Rhino (1 of 3) * 

2nd and 3rd Botulism (4week interval between all doses) * 

Rabies (1 of 2)

5-8 months (aim 4-6 weeks between 1st and 2nd doses of vaccines) 

Rabies (2 of 2) 

Eastern and Western Encephalitis (2 of 3) 

Tetanus (2 of 3) 

West Nile Virus (of 3) 

Potomac Horse Fever (2 of 3) * 

Flu/Rhino (2 of 3) * 

6-9 months  Strangles IN (2 doses, 3 weeks apart) * 
10-12 months 

Eastern and Western Encephalitis (3 of 3) 

Tetanus (3 of 3) 

West Nile Virus (3 of 3) 

Potomac Horse Fever (3 of 3) * 

Flu/Rhino (of 3) * 

 

AAEP Vaccination Schedules

Vaccine  Foals vaccination mare  Foals un-vaccinated mares  Adults vaccination  Adults un-vaccinated  Broodmares vaccination  Broodmares un-vaccinated 
Rabies  Vaccination at 4-6 months, then booster 4-6 weeks later, then annually after  If known un-vaccinatedvaccination at 3-4 month then annually; if unknown whether dam was vaccination follow same schedule as foals with vaccination dams  Vaccination every 1 year  Vaccination every 1 year, no booster needed  Vaccination 4-6 week before foaling  Vaccination 4-6 week before foaling 
EEE/WEE  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 month of age with 4-6 week in between  1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 months of age with 4 week in between 1st and 2nd and 4-8 week in between 2nd and 3rd  Vaccination every 6 month – 1 year  2 doses 4-6 week apart, then 1 more prior to vector season, then annually after  Vaccination 4-6 week before foaling  2 doses 4 week apart, then 1 either 4-6 week before foaling or prior to vector season, whichever comes first 
WNV  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 month of age with 4-6 week in between  1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 months of age with 4 week in between 1st and 2nd and 4-8 week in between 2nd and 3rd  Vaccination every 6 month – 1 year  2 doses 4-6 week apart, then 1 more prior to vector season, then annually after  Inactivated viral vaccine 4-6 week before foaling  Inactivated viral vaccine: 2 doses 4 week apart, then 1 either 4-6 week before foaling or prior to vector season, whichever comes first 
Tetanus  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 month of age with 4-6 week in between  1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  3 dose series beginning at 3-4 month of age with 4-6 week in between 1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  Vaccination every 1 year; if wound booster if no vaccination in last 6 month  2 doses 4-6 week apart, then annually  Vaccination 4-6 week before foaling  2 doses 4-6 week apart and then another 4-6 week before foaling 
Flu/Rhino  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 month of age with 4-6 week in between  1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  3 dose series beginning at 4-6 month of age with 4-6 week in between  1st and 2nd (aim for last dose at 10-12 month)  Vaccination every 6 months if showing  3 dose series 4-6 week apart, then every 6 months if risk necessitates  3 dose series at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation (some do 4 doses 3, 5, 7, 9) with vaccination designed to prevent viral abortion  3 dose series at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation (some do 4 doses 3, 5, 7, 9) with vaccination designed to prevent viral abortion 
PHF  3 dose series with 1st given at 5 months and 2nd 4-6 week later, last dose at 12 month  3 dose series with 1st given at 5 months and 2nd 4-6 week later, last dose at 12 month  Vaccination up to every 3-4 month in endemic areas during vector season  2 doses 3-4 week apart then up to every 3-4 month in endemic areas during vector season  Vaccination as normal with 1 dose given 4-6 week before foaling  2 doses 3-4 week apart with second dose given 4-6 week before foaling 
Strangles  2 dose series at 6-9 month of age 3 week apart  2 dose series at 6-9 month of age 3 week apart  Vaccination every 6 month to 1 year based on risk  2 doses 3 week apart then 6 month – 1 year based on risk  Killed vaccine only 4-6 week prior to foaling  Killed vaccine only, 2-3 doses 2-4 week apart with last 4-6 week before foaling 
Botulism  3 dose series beginning at 2-3 month of age with 4 week in between each, then annually  3 dose series beginning at 1-3 month of age with 4 week in between each, then annually  Vaccination every 1 year recommended in fall  3 dose series with 4 week in between each, then annually  Vaccination 4-6 week before foaling  3 dose series with 4 week in between each, aiming for last dose 4-6 week before foaling