Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Jeff Keuss

First Reader

Cindy Bishop

Second Reader

Eric Long

Keywords

parasitology, equine management, horses, stables, intestinal parasites

Abstract

Parasitology is an important area of veterinary medicine, but the risk factors for high parasite loads are not well-understood. Equine intestinal parasites can cause extensive disease and death. In the current study, the relationship between equine intestinal parasite loads and adherence to veterinary guidelines for equine management practices was studied. Satisfactory adherence to guidelines regarding food, pasture, and flooding management was related to lower parasite loads. Adherence to guidelines regarding deworming, quarantine, bedding, and water did not appear to lower parasite loads. Still, adhering to these guidelines has been shown to improve equine welfare, even if they are not related to parasitic infection. High-quality management as a whole decreased parasite load. Parasitology research needs to continue in order to further the understanding of risk factors and adequate treatment for infected individuals.