Alternative methods for the control of gastrointestinal parasites in horses with a special focus on nematode predatory fungi: a review / Alternatywne metody kontroli pasożytów przewodu pokarmowego u koni ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem drapieżnych grzybów nicieniobójczych: artykuł przeglądowy

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Abstract

The paper describes a review of alternative methods of horse parasite control. Horses serve as hosts for a wide array of parasites, among which strongylid nematodes (Strongylidae) constitute considerable pathogens. Due to the short and monoxenous life cycle of these parasites and also the resistance to benzimidazole and other drugs, the control strategies are often ineffective. Thus, the treatment of strongylids constitutes a priority aiming at the improvement of animal welfare, with special attention paid to the stable and pasture organization. The treatment carried out in the stable should consider the frequent exchange of horse bedding at regular time intervals, periodic disinfection of stalls and maximum limitation of contact of feed and water with the stable substratum. An application of feed supplements, i.e. plants or plant extracts, which act as natural dewormers, also constitutes an important factor in the control of parasitic infections. Among the treatments applied to the pasture, the regular removal of waste, quarter pasturing, as well as an alternate pasturing with other animal species, are of special importance. The use of deworming properties of fungi, which constitute a natural component of green growth in pasture, seems to be the next method of nematode control, already confirmed by several studies.

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