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Back at Beta International
Looking forward to being back at BETA international this year. We haven't been since 2005 when our worm count kit won the innovations award, very exciting indeed! This year we will be showcasing our shop and merchant service so please come and chat.
Worm counts for Chickens.
Did you know that we test chickens too? We will have a dedicated page on the website soon about using worm counts with chickens. In the meantime you can request a test kit by phone: 01670 791994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or look out for the green pouch packs coming into stores.
I've kept my own chickens for about 20 years and as many folk are discovering there is really nothing like a fresh new laid egg from your own birds. Keeping a few hens is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the UK, and no wonder with the pleasure they bring. They are easy to look after and certainly a lot more productive than most pets. A few simple health care strategies will ensure that they keep laying those beautiful eggs.
Do you need to worm your birds? Find out by using worm counts. If you have only a couple of chickens then you might like to test individually, or perhaps you have a particular bird you are concerned about? Otherwise use a composite sample collected from various parts of the hen house and mixed together in the large bag provided. Fill the sample container from this mix and send for testing.
I'm pleased to say that my own small flock do not have worms. They are free range and have not ever been dosed.
Sometimes you think you should get out more. This Spring we have certainly been doing that, travelling the UK to join the CPD sessions organised by BETA, the British Equine Trades Association. They asked us to contribute to these interesting update days by giving a presentation about using worm counts in worming programmes. The delegates were from various backgrounds including SQP's (the people who sell wormers and give worming advice in store), vet nurses and business owners.
It has been really great to get out and about talking to people in the industry. Our aim was to give confidence in using worm counts when planning programmes with customers, keeping up to date with current guidelines on not over using worming products. I'm glad to say that judging by the feedback this aim has been achieved.
First an apology for the lack of updates in recent months. We have been busily working in the background to bring about many improvements to our service for all our customers.
We hope you have enjoyed rapid results this year. The Team at Westgate have worked really hard to ensure that the majority of samples are received, tested and reported back on the same day, even when we get really busy. If you don’t hear from us after a couple of days then something is wrong so do get in touch.
The new software was installed in May 2010 which means it is now much easier to access test records. Customers can log in to the data base directly and check their results. If you haven’t tried it yet do ask for your login details.
Email reminder system
We have also introduced three monthly reminders for all customers with an email address. We know how busy life can get and it is easy to let the weeks slip by. Your email reminder will tell you that it is time to either worm or test again. Feed back so far tells us that you really like this new feature.
Worming advice is freely given to all our customers at Westgate and is a very important part of our service. You only have to ask. We are delighted to report that Kristy Razzell has passed her SQP exams this year so you might find yourself talking to her if you ring for advice.
Ordering worm counts
Whether you need to order free testing kits or prepaid 4count kits it can now all be done through the website. If you simply need to contact us for anything else then email on email@example.com.
Service to vets
Our tailor made vets service has been very well received this year. Details here: www.westgatelabs.co.uk/our-services/vets.htm.
Service to shops
Retail outlets can choose whether to stock our pouched kits (the easy way to sell worm counts) or to use the tailor made service (the slightly harder way). Don’t lose out on this valuable worming add on.
Details here: www.westgatelabs.co.uk/our-services/trade.htm.
Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who has used Westgate Labs this year. Your continued custom is really appreciated.
A strong message from the BVA
The British Veterinary Association have issued a strong message to those who prescribe wormers: ‘Stop, think, before prescribing’.
Basically they say that wormers should be targeted at the wormy horses only, making sure the dose level is correct for the animals weight. Other horses should be left untreated. This backs up what we have been saying for years!
‘Every use of anthelmintics (wormers) increases the risk of resistance developing.’
‘Action to minimise the development of resistance is urgent and essential’
Read the full document at: http://www.bva.co.uk/1698.aspx
Service for vets
We have had several vets contact us already about our service for vet practices. Vets reviewing their worming policies but without access to lab facilities please contact us for details. We supply all that your clients need for doing a worm count, plus a control sheet with your letter heading applied. The results are returned to you directly so that you can advise your client as necessary.
Tel: 01670 791994 to discuss your requirements
Keeping up to date
We enjoyed our recent visit to Coventry for the Animal Health Distributors Association Silver Jubilee conference. It was good to keep up to date and earn some CPD points, which are an essential part of our qualification.
Highlights of the day included speaker Dr Sandy Love from Glasgow University confessing that he thought vets might have been giving incorrect worming advice for 30 years. As a vet himself he was able to say this!
Unfortunately all the interval dosing and rotating drugs has led to the very real problems of resistance which we now have. He advocated an end to blanket worming programmes, instead using faecal egg counts to identify the horses with parasite problems and only dosing them. This all sounds familiar!
Other subjects covered included worming chickens (We liked this as we keep chickens ourselves) and an update from SCOPS (Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep) about worming sheep. Worm resistance is a real problem in sheep. If you keep sheep it’s really worth a look at the article online here.
We never rest on our laurels at Westgate Labs and you can be assured that we are constantly making sure that we really do know what we are talking about.
Getting a worm count done for your horse is only part of the picture. Knowing what to do with the result is quite another. Our customers know that they can always contact us for good advice.
We wish all our customers past, present and future a happy and successful New Year and healthy horses!
Hopefully you are coping with all the winter weather which has been thrown at us lately and like us, will be looking forward to better times and Spring on the far horizon.
We are taking advantage of this quiet time to prepare for the busy year ahead. Why not do the same? You can order your 4count pack direct from the website and we have them all ready to send out as we receive your orders. It’s an excellent way to get your worming programme off to a good start.
Those who prefer to pop into their saddlers shop to pick up a pack can look forward to our new pouch packs which come in single and double varieties:
We hope you will like the improvements we have made.
A reply paid (no need to stamp) envelope is now included for returning samples to the lab, plus a handy record card and an informative leaflet, as well as the usual vouchers and containers.
There are benefits for retailers too as these compact pouches take up less valuable space in the shop and look good too. Give us a ring (01670 791994) to order your stocks for the new season.
Looking forward to working with you again soon,
Gillian and David
1999 - 2009
We are celebrating our tenth anniversary!
Where did the last ten years go?
It seems amazing but it is actually ten years since we introduced the first direct to owner worm count service for horses. Back then few were aware of the advantages of using tests to give your horse the best possible worming programme.
Worm counts are now a mainstream part of good horse care, and at Westgate we have worked hard to make that so, writing many articles for the horsy press, giving seminars, developing a user friendly information pack, not to mention this informative web site.
Ten years on we are just as passionate about what we do and remain committed to providing the best possible service for our clients. We introduced the popular 4count pack, developed to make life easy and to keep costs down as far as possible for our regular users.
We do all the tests ourselves in the lab on the farm, so that we know they are done correctly, and have the experience to know what we are doing. Not only that, we have passed the AMTRA worming exams so that we can give correct and qualified advice to back up the test results.
We are always looking ahead to try to improve our service. More news soon!
Rory, or Morar of Stanford came to live with us a couple of weeks ago. He is a little Highland yearling, more or less unhandled until he made the journey to Northumberland. He is proving to be the sweetest pony and has settled in well.
I wormed him as he came off the lorry, using Equimax, and knowing that he would be in need of it. That did mean that I had no worm count as a starting point. He was turned out into a separate field.
The next day I inspected his dung and found lots of redworm. A worm count that day told us he still had a medium count for strongyle eggs (redworm) but there were also lots of Parascaris Equorum eggs, roundworm and typical of a young, previously unwormed pony.
The following morning his dung was full of large (15-20cm) whilte worms, roundworm. These look quite disgusting. There were still a few redworm too. That day his count was down to ‘low’ for strongyle eggs and no more roundworm.
The next day there were no more worms to be seen and his count was <50 epg no eggs seen, thank goodness.
Three weeks later he still has a <50 epg count and should be feeling so much better. He has certainly started to put on weight. My next step will be to give him a dose of Equest in a few weeks time as I am sure he will have encysted redworm which the first wormer will not have touched. After that I will be keeping a close eye on his worm counts next year to be sure that we have got him sorted out.
Here he is enjoying a bite of hay in the snow.
Gillian, Dec 2008
Savings without sacrifice
Are you struggling to pay the bills? As horse keepers ourselves we are only too aware of the rising costs of looking after our equine friends in these ‘credit crunch times’. It seems as though every bag of feed costs more than the last.
At the same time our horses are such a central part of our lives that we want to continue giving them the best possible care to keep them happy and healthy.
So its good to know that by choosing a worm count based worming programme you are not only doing the best for your horses but can also making savings. > click here to read more
New year- New worming
It’s a great time of year to get organised.
Why not join the growing numbers of clients using our easy and economical 4count service? Learn more and order yours today. > click here to order
Westgate Labs new website launch August 2008
Our website has come in for much praise in the past but we felt it was time for a rewrite. The old one had had so much extra information added that it had become rather confusing so we wanted to make it easier for you to find your way around. We are really pleased with our new look and hope you will agree that it hits the spot. If you find any problems though or have any comments, do let us know.
And we’re not finished yet so watch out for another new feature appearing soon!