Horsemen's Laboratory
Horsemen's Laboratory
Worm Control News

August, 2011


In This Issue
Thank You, Lisa Kemp
Upcoming Event
Surprising Facts about Horse Parasites
Parasites Love Summer, Too!

You may have noticed that that Worm Control News, from Horsemen's Laboratory has been missing, but we're back now. This month our newsletter will be short and sweet with a few parasite-related points to consider as we get back on track.

If you have questions about parasites or deworming that you would like to see covered in our newsletter, send them our way. If you have a story about deworming your horse (don't we all!) that might help other horse owners, we'll be happy to share it with others in our newsletter.


As always, if there's anything we can do to help in your equine worm control program, please call us at 800-544-0599, or email us at  


John W. Byrd, DVM
Horsemen's Laboratory 

John Byrd, DVM, of Horsemen's Laboratory


Thank You, Lisa Kemp 
We've been incredibly busy with an increased workload, thanks in part to Lisa Kemp of Kemp Equine. Lisa created our newsletter and helped us to get the word out about parasites and fecal egg counts. Though she is no longer able to offer her assistance because she is very busy writing articles for the horse community, we want to say "thank you" for pointing us in the right direction. We'd also like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Lisa for receiving a first-place American Horse Publications award for the "HERDA Awareness Series" published on
Upcoming Event
Horse Days 2011 in Belvidere, Illinois

Dr. John Byrd, DVM, owner of Horsemen's Laboratory, will be a presenter at Horse Days 2011. The first annual Horse Days 2011 will be held at the Boone Country Fairgrounds August 19, 20, and 21 in Belvidere, Illinois. Dr. Byrd will be discussing Parasite Management in the Smart Feed Lecture Tent on:

  • Friday, August 19: 12 noon
  • Saturday, August 20: 4 p.m.
  • Sunday. August 21: 1 p.m.

 Visit the Horsemen's Laboratory exhibit booth where Dr. Byrd will be available to meet horse owners, to answer questions, and to take orders for testing kits.



Surprising Facts about Horse Parasites   

It's no accident that horse parasites have survived for thousands of years. Numbers alone ensure their continued existence, but they also protect themselves in some surprising ways.

  • Up to 100 strongyle larvae can be found on a single blade of grass.
  • Small strongyles larvae wrap themselves in a protective coating inside the large intestine wall, preventing attacks by the horse's immune system and many deworming medications.
  • Adult large strongyles have mouths with sharp teeth used to attach to the wall of the intestine while sucking blood.
  • Roundworms can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs each day, each with a sticky protein coating for sticking to just about anything, including stall walls and a dam's hair coat.
  • Roundworm eggs have a thick shell and can survive for up to a decade.
  • Roundworms target foals and young horses before they develop a natural immunity around the age of two.
  • Tapeworms are acquired when horses eat oribatid mites containing tapeworm larvae. Thousands of species live throughout the world with about 7,000 species in the United States - only a handful of those carry the eggs.
  • The smallest and most common tapeworm is about a half-inch long, some are about an inch long, and the largest can be about three inches long.
Parasites Love Summer, Too!
During warm weather, not only are people and horses more active, but so are parasites. As the soil warms up, so does parasitic activity.
  • Small strongyles are currently the most active threat to horses of all ages and love temperatures between 45-85 F.
  • If you trail ride, show, or compete, your horse may be exposed to other horses that may be carrying resistant parasites.  
  • Increased turnout time on pasture means increased exposure to parasites for your horse.

These factors suggest that it's especially important to have a fecal egg count performed on your horse's stool during warmer weather.


We hope you've enjoyed reading this issue of Worm Control News.

Here at Horsemen's Laboratory, we support horse owners who want to have healthier, happier horses, and manage their barns, pastures, and paddocks appropriately. If you have comments or suggestions, please pass them along. Our email address is, or call our toll-free lab phone at 800-544-0599.

Copyright 2010 Horsemen's Laboratory. Please contact us at for reprint permission. Linking to Worm Control News is acceptable, and we would appreciate notification of links so we can acknowledge them in future issues.
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