Prevalence of infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes in Pony Club horses in Victoria


*Corresponding author: The University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science, Queensland, Australia;



The aims of the present study were to identify the common gastrointestinal nematodes, to assess the prevalence of infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes, and to assess some potential indirect determinants of nematode parasitism in Victorian Pony Club horses.


A total of 106 horses from five Pony Clubs from outer Melbourne and Geelong, Victoria, Australia, were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. Fresh faecal samples were collected and faecal egg counts (FECs) performed on site within 2 h of collection. Potential determinants of the FEC were analysed using logistic and negative binomial regression.


FECs ranged from 0 to 3750 eggs per gram (epg), with an average of 422 epg. Eggs were detected in the faeces of 52% of horses (55/106) and the average count was 813 epg. Counts were 500 epg or greater in 27% (29/106) of horses. Pony Club, season and sex of the horse were not associated with the FEC. Among horses treated with anthelmintics 8 weeks or less prior to sampling, FECs were commonly ≥50 epg, and high FECs were relatively common.


The results indicate that treatment efficacy is commonly low and/or rapid re-infection after treatment is common, and show that management practices for internal parasite control are often inadequate for preventing high FECs among Pony Club horses in Victoria.