Winter Worm Control For horses tapeworm testing Spring/Autumn

Winter worm control

For horses tapeworm testing Spring/Autumn

The winter protocol varies slightly compared to the other seasons as we need to consider targeting encysted redworm. 

If you test for tapeworm in Spring/Autumn then you will have had a worm egg count and an EquiSal saliva test to complete for your horse(s) in either September, October or November.

Going into the winter months encysted redworm and potentially bots are therefore the main parasites to target. 

  1. Between December and February we’ll send a worm egg count. Test your horse and WHATEVER the result, treat for encysted redworm.
  • Moxidectin is the preferred treatment for encysted redworm, particularly if targeting bots at the same time.
  • There are circumstances where a 5 day course of fenbendazole is more appropriate to treat encysted redworm  where moxidectin is contra-indicated and for young horses under four who are also susceptible to roundworm infection.
  1. If the winter worm egg count comes back positive, we’ll send you a reduction test to help monitor drug resistance and check that treatment has been effective. Worm and 10-14 days later take another worm egg count.
  2. Horses on the high risk programme will worm count again later in the winter – in exceptional circumstances a second treatment for encysted redworm may be required. 

NEW! Small Redworm Blood Test

According to advice, horses with previous faecal egg count results >200epg within the last year are considered high risk and may not be appropriate for this innovative new test, so should receive a routine treatment.

If your horse is classed as low risk <200epg within the last year, is in a closed herd with good paddock management and there is frequent poo picking, then chat to your vet further about this test.

Every horse that does not require a moxidectin dose is helping preserve to the chemical and delay resistance.

Test Results

If you are not sure what the results mean then contact us for more detailed information via email or phone.


Moxidectin shouldn't be given to underweight horses, foals under 4 months old (6.5 months if also combined with praziquantel) and isn't licenced for donkeys. We also advise caution if using it in miniature Shetlands unless you can calculate dosage accurately. This is because the active ingredient is stored in body fat and these animals don't have sufficient stores to take up the drug.