Is your horse a picture of health on the inside as well as the outside?
‘Think twice before using wormers’*
Worming advice has changed. Good worm control starts with using worm counts and tests, only adding wormer doses as they are needed.
Resistance to wormers
Horse worms are evolving to become resistant to some worming drugs, especially those which have been around for a long time. This means that we can no longer rely on keeping horses worm free purely by giving them wormers.
It’s much better to test first and target the wormers at the wormy horses and at specific seasonal problems like encysted redworms, bots and pinworm. Using wormers sparingly should also mean that they stay effective for those times when our horses really need them.
Using worm counts and tests
Whether you have a single horse kept on an individual turnout or run a busy yard with mixed turnout a targeted approach can work for you. Redworm, roundworm & tapeworm are the biggest pathological threats to horses and the parasites for which you should test regularly.
A targeted worm control programme:
If you are getting good results on a targeted worm control programme then you can widen the gaps between counts as time goes on, but at first it is important to worm count and test regularly.
Don't forget about encysted redworm in the winter, as parasites can remain in the dormant larval stage for a long time within the horse before making their presence known as mature egg-laying adults. The good news is that an ELISA blood test for encysted redworm is now available through your vet for low risk horses.
We hope this gives you an idea of how targeted worming works. We are always here to help you with the plan that will suit your horses so do get in touch. Young stock, foals and horses with a poor start in life will need more regular monitoring and proactive wormer treatment.
If you would you find it helpful to sense check your worming programme and develop a tailor made plan for the horses in your care we offer a free advice service to help you ensure you’ve got this essential aspect of horse health covered. Alternatively you could have a chat with your vet before you start.