A Questionnaire Survey on Intestinal Worm Control Practices in Horses in Italy

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Abstract

Since cases of anthelmintic resistance (AR) have been reported in horses in Italy, a survey on intestinal worm control was carried out in 225 equine facilities in this country. A questionnaire with three open-ended questions, 18 close-ended questions, and the opportunity to include additional comments was developed. This included data about the facility, access to grazing and pasture management, use of anthelmintics, attitude toward intestinal worms, and information sources. Results showed that 54.6% of respondents performed some pasture management practices, 94.7% dewormed horses routinely, 61.3% used mass treatment, 68% dewormed with frequency >2–≤6 months, 85.3% did not ask for prior fecal examination, 48% did not deworm new horses, 57.8% estimated the weight by eye measurement, 77.3% had not experienced problems with intestinal worms risk, and 76% used single-drug regimens. The importance of intestinal worms was scored 4.1 (mean) and 5 (median). Because veterinarians were scored as the most important information source (4.5 and 5), they have the power to play a key role in delaying further development of AR.

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