Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) or Coggins

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that affects the horses’ immune system.

It is transmitted via blood-sucking insects; flys and mosquitos.

The virus actually reproduces bad blood cells and circulates them throughout the body.  The horse’s immune system attacks the blood cells and destroys them, causing anemia.  This can cause inflammation and damage to vital organs.  With the immune system in a weakened state, the threat of secondary infections occurring is another great concern.

There is no known cure for EIA, so it is crucial that you test your horse for this viral disease.

You should have your horse tested every year for Coggins.

We offer Coggins testing ranging from $44.00 – $112.00 (subject to change).

Texas was the number one state reporting EIA in 1993.

Heartworm Guidelines

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has altered guidelines after evidence of preventive-resistant Diofilaria immitis strains was presented at the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists Conference at the end of July in Chicago.

Researchers have now identified heartworm isolates from the Mississippi Delta region that develop in adult dogs receiving routine monthly heartworm preventives.

  1. This means treatment of heartworm positive dogs should be immediate and aggressive, as noted in the newly revised CAPC guidelines (for details, see capcvet.org).
  2. The “slow kill” therapy sometimes prescribed by veterinarians is no longer appropriate, as researchers have demonstrated that using this modality –repeated macrocyclic lactone administration over a period of time — increases the proportion of circulating microfilariae that possess resistance markers.
  3. Dogs should be tested for heartworms once a year. Existing infections should be aggressively treated with an approved adulticide and microfilariae should be eliminated.
  4. CAPC recommendations for year-round prevention with a broad-spectrum parasiticide should be followed.
  5. Pet owners should be encouraged to reduce exposure to mosquitoes as much as possible.

Specialists emphasize that evidence of resistance does not mean abandoning current protocols but that they be followed even more rigorously. The new evidence confirming heartworm resistance underscores the importance of protecting pets year-round without gaps in prevention.

Preventions are still the best protection we have and consistently administering them is key to maintaining pet health.

Fecals on Horses

We do intestinal parasite screens (fecal) here at the clinic.

We do parasite and sand test to see if the horse needs to be dewormed.

The sand test is to see how much sand has been consumed by the horse and if there is an overwhelming amount it would need to be treated with . If he has too much sand it can cause your horse to colic, because it cannot pass through their system. So, we give them a psyllium product that helps remove it through their feces.

The parasite test is to check to see if your horse has worms. This will reflect that the wormer being used works for your horse. If you use only one kind of wormer for several dewormings in a row then it can cause some parasite resistance in your horse. So, we recommend to do a fecal on your horse regularly to see if it needs to be dewormed.

They are classified as high, medium and low shedders.
High shedders have 15+ eggs per slide
Medium shedders have 4-15 eggs per slide
Low shedders have less than 3 eggs per slide.

If you deworm with Moxidectin we recommend doing a fecal about 16-18 weeks after deworming him.

Ivermectin about 12 weeks after deworming
Fenbendazole or Pyrantel we do about 9 weeks after deworming.
We carry some wormers here at the clinic such as:

  • Eqvalan(ivermectin)
  • Quest Pluss(moxidectin/praziquantel)
  • Panacur(fenbendazole)


Equine Nutritional Consultation

Monday afternoons from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Jim Ward, D.V.M. will be available at Ward Animal Hospital for equine nutritional consultations.
Come by and talk to him, give him a call or schedule an appointment to bring your horse in for him to examine.

Jim Ward, D.V.M. is a 1965 graduate of Texas A & M University School of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced equine veterinary medicine for forty years, emphasizing equine reproduction. He has been extensively involved in the equine industry, owning and managing several breeding farms. He is a Life Member, former board member and a past president the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He was also a board member of the Breeders Cup Ltd and Texas Racing Agri-Industry Council. Jim is currently the Equine Management Consultant for Cargill, Inc., a position he has held since 2000. He is a member of the Cargill Production Development Team and the Cargill Equine Enterprise Team. His passion has been to develop feeds that would provide solutions for veterinarians and horse owners for diseases such as Colic, Laminitis, Tying-up, Developmental Orthopedic Disease, Cushing’s Disease and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. In 2004 he received the Cargill Innovation award for his role in the development of the feed, SafeChoice. He received the Trailblazer award from Cargill in 2015.

Ward is the owner/ manager of the Center Veterinary & Reproductive Services and serves in a consultative role at Center Ranch and Ward Animal Hospital. He does nutrition consulting at major ranches including 6666 Ranch, EE Ranches, Time McQuay Stables and Hartman Equine Reproduction Center. Ward does nutrition consultative work with equine veterinary practices including Texas A & M University Large Animal Hospital, Lone Star Park Equine Hospital, Brazos Valley Equine Hospital, Elgin Veterinary Hospital, Premier Equine Veterinary Services, Hill Country Veterinary Hospital and Retama Equine Hospital.

He serves on the Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine Development Council. He is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine where he presents lectures on equine nutrition to veterinarians, veterinary students and equine industry members. He received the Distinguished Alumnus award from Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Ward has recently developed a series of online learning lessons on Equine Nutrition that have been approved by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for C.E. credit. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the Texas Equine Veterinary Association.

Internal Equine Parasites

Internal parasites, or worms, may cause extensive damage to the gastrointestinal tract of your horse.  Effects of parasites may appear externally as; dull hair coat, depression, loss of body condition, diarrhea, swollen abdomen (typically in younger horses). Parasites can compromise the horse’s immune system and may even cause colic. In rare cases, death.

To find out your horse’s situation involving parasites, bring in samples for routine fecals. We recommend worming on an “as needed” basis and rotating your wormer brands. Remember not all horses need to be wormed all the time. Unnecessary worming leads to the parasite resistance problem.

Did you know there are over 150 internal parasites that can affect horses?

Monitoring Equine Parasites Via Fecal Egg Per Gram

By Dr. Bryan Waldridge · April 29, 2011

Fecal egg per gram (EPG) counts are valuable to actually determine the number of worm eggs in a horse’s manure. Routine fecal floats determine if parasite eggs are present but cannot differentiate a heavy-shedding horse from one shedding fewer worm eggs.

Manure for EPG determination is weighed, floated in a standard volume-of-egg flotation solution, and worm eggs are counted under a microscope using a special slide.

Your veterinarian can perform EPG counts and is the best source of information to tailor a deworming program that is best for your farm.

An excellent study from Denmark found that horses tend to be consistent in the amount of worm eggs shed in their manure.

Less than 200 EPG is considered a low level of shedding. Horses that had two previous EPG counts performed six months apart that were both less than 200 EPG had an 84% chance that their third EPG count would also be low. Similarly, if a horse had two previous EPG counts greater than 200, the chance of being greater than 200 EPG on the third count was 59%. This demonstrated that horses with low EPG counts tend to keep low EPG counts and those that are high also tend to stay high.

These findings help to target deworming to reduce resistance and allow for the classification of horses into low or high EPG shedders. Horses that consistently have low EPG counts do not require frequent deworming, and deworming twice a year is probably sufficient. Horses that have a consistently high EPG count can be segregated to reduce overall pasture parasite egg contamination, and these horses may benefit from more frequent deworming.

Your veterinarian can perform EPG counts and is the best source of information to tailor a deworming program that is best for your farm. EPG counts also help slow the development of resistance to dewormers, and less frequent deworming reduces costs.

AAEP Intestinal Parasite Information

Fecals on Horses

Strategic Deworming