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CPD event on equine, CA and LA parasitology

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01 October 2010, at 1:00am

MERIAL Animal Health held its first combined equine, companion and production animal CPD event at Whipsnade Zoo on 21st July.

First speaker was Professor Jacqui Matthews from Moredun Research Institute and Edinburgh University, whose talk entitled “What’s new in equine parasitology?” covered faecal egg counts, increasing development of anthelmintic resistance through selection pressure and measures to prolong anthelmintic efficacy.

She explained that the use of drugs to control worm populations potentially triggers an adaptation in response to selection pressure, meaning that increased use of drugs increases the likelihood of the development of resistance. Over time, worms that survive drug treatment pass on their resistant genes, perpetuating anthelmintic resistance and reducing the efficacy of drugs.

In order to reduce selection pressure and prolong drug efficacy, Prof. Matthews recommended targeted dosing based on the results of faecal egg counts to ensure drugs are used most effectively.

Australian resistance

Dr David Homer from Merial Australia discussed “Sustainable parasite control: the Australian experience”, looking at Australia’s resistance situation, bringing in sheep as a comparative case study. His message was: use products that work, manage chemical exposure by treating only when necessary and allow for dilution of resistant worms to occur by considering pasture management.

Hannah Lester from Ridgeway Equine reviewed Eqvalan Duo’s Worm Egg Count campaign with a look at the results so far. She concluded that a large proportion of the horses tested during the campaign did not require subsequent worming, confirming that on average 20% of horses carry 80% of the worm burden in a population, but that owners could not be complacent as without testing these high egg shedders could not be identified.

Delegates then had to choose between presentations on flea and tick control or an update on cattle parasitology.