We thought we might never get here but finally the tantalizing signs of spring in the air are a welcome sight for any horse owner. It’s enough to cheer the soul even if it does bring with it the joys of mass moulting and a rising risk of parasite infection!
We can't do much for the horse hair - doesn't it get everywhere? But we can provide peace of mind for your horse's health with our range of easy to use lab tests and our free vet approved advice from our friendly experts. Check out our cost effective season packs or, for total confidence, our All Seasons subscription service.
Spring worm control is time to:
- worm egg count for redworm and ascarids
- EquiSal test for tapeworm if you haven't in the last six months
- Look out for signs of pinworm
- Plan carefully for any foaling mares
Remember testing can help to reduce the need for chemical wormers by up to 82%! Essential with the rising problems of drug resistance we're facing.
High counts for redworm
This winter 2019/20 has been the gift that keeps on giving. Unfortunately its effects bring yet more struggles for horse owners as the mild wet conditions have helped parasites to be much more active on our pastures than usual over winter. Regular temperatures over six degrees Celsius, low levels of UV light and wet ground are unfortunately a perfect storm for a surge in infection.
Couple this with a lifecycle of around 5-6 weeks and a redworm challenge can quickly take hold within a horse to become a problem. We've already seen a higher than average number of worm egg counts over the 1200 e.p.g. threshold because of this.
If you blood tested or treated for the possibility of encysted redworm in the late autumn/winter then now is the time to resume the regular testing programme. Don't delay your worm counts this Spring to make sure you're on top of any potential problems.
We’re also advised to consider tapeworm every six months, either in Spring and Autumn or Summer and Winter, so you may need to address this too, our preference always being to test first. Target tapeworm with an EquiSal saliva test to determine whether you need to dose or not; only 27% of horses tested for tapeworm actually need a wormer for it so odds on you'll be saving giving another wormer.
The other parasite to keep an eye out for is the perennial pinworm problem which has also been prevalent this spring – perhaps because horses are kept in closer confinement over the winter and so are more likely to reinfect themselves from where they rub.
Watch for signs of tail rubbing or discomfort, a sticky substance around the anus or bean sprout type worms appearing in the droppings. Check with an adhesive tape test if you suspect a problem.
Mares & Foals
If you’re expecting foals on the ground this year congratulations! Foals and youngstock require much more proactive treatment than older horses, you can find our handy guide for worming mares and foals here.
Stay vigilant this Spring and if you need any help with your worming then please contact our friendly team for free, veterinary approved advice.
The cost effective way to organise your routine tests for the year is with our great value 4Count PLUS pack – a handy season pack containing everything you need for four worm counts and two EquiSal tests.
Only £69.90 plus £2 P&P
Or you could choose our NEW subscription programme for the ultimate in simplicity and peace of mind for your parasite control. A bespoke testing programme for your horse and monthly payments to help spread the cost.
From £6.50 per month