Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 10, pp 2877–2883 | Cite as

The importance of anthelmintic efficacy monitoring: results of an outreach effort

  • Jennifer L. CainEmail author
  • Donna Foulk
  • Edward Jedrzejewski
  • Heather Stofanak
  • Martin K. Nielsen
Helminthology - Original Paper


Anthelmintic resistance in equine cyathostomin parasites is widespread. A surveillance-based parasite control program using fecal egg counts (FECs) and fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRTs) to decrease anthelmintic use and monitor treatment efficacy is recommended. The purpose of this study was to examine shifts in equine parasite control program management practices via a short course presented by the Penn State Extension, and to highlight how data collected from these programs is useful for monitoring anthelmintic efficacy on a large scale. Horse owners were enrolled after participating in a short course and filled out questionnaire surveys about their parasite management programs pre and post study, horse information, and farm information. FECs were performed at three time points, and horses above a 300 strongyle eggs per gram cut-off were treated with pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole, or ivermectin. Two weeks post-treatment, FECRTs were performed to determine treatment efficacy, which included 29 farms with 513 individual treatments. Prior to the study, only 30.6% of farms used FECs, but after the study, 97.3% of farms said they would use FECs in the future. Horses were given an average of 4.1 anthelmintic treatments per year before the study, and post study 89.2% of farms were able to reduce the number of anthelmintic treatments used. Fenbendazole was effective on zero farms, pyrantel pamoate on 7.4% of farms, and ivermectin on 92.9% of farms. This outreach project helped generate information about anthelmintic efficacy levels, causing a shift in practices on participating farms, and collected useful anthelmintic resistance data.


Horses Strongyle Fecal egg count Anthelmintic resistance Education 



The authors would like to thank Eric Roemmele for all of his statistical help, and the farm owners who participated in this study for their dedication and enthusiasm.

Funding information

Funding for this study was provided by Penn State Extension–College of Agricultural Sciences and through a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

All information for this study was collected and utilized for research purposes with written consent of the participants, and an informed consent form was signed by all participants.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Penn State Extension, College of Agricultural SciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Animal Science, College of Agricultural SciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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