Videos

Sand Testing to reduce the risk of sand colic

⏳ Horses grazing sandy soils, kept on bare or overgrazed paddocks/track systems or being fed in a ménage are at risk of ingesting sand. For these horses we recommend a dung sample be taken at intervals through the year and checked with a sedimentation test to assess sand levels in the gut.

This is because sand is a relatively common cause of colic in horses. It gets ingested as they graze and can accumulate in the colon over time. Here it irritates the gut lining and, in sufficient quantity, has the ability to cause impaction of the gut which, if not treated in time, can be fatal.

In this video we faecal sand test two horses and look at ways to help reduce gut sediment levels where these have accumulated. Our sand test kit won the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) 2020 Judges' Choice Innovation award and is an easy way to monitor this aspect of your horse's wellbeing.

👉 More info on sand testing: bit.ly/Sandtesting
👉 Shop Sand tests: https://bit.ly/SandTestKit

If you have any health concerns about your horse please consult your vet.

Take our online course 'An Intro to Parasite Control in Horses'

Have you got 30mins to brush up your horse care knowledge this week? Find out about parasites in horses, the dangers of wormer resistance and how to use worm egg counts and tests in this fun short course. Aimed at 12yrs + everyone gets a certificate and the chance to enter our prize draw if you complete by the end of May!

👉 Have a go: https://bit.ly/IntroToParasiteControl
👉 Find out more: https://bit.ly/AboutIntroToParasiteControl

In partnership with BETA Equitoolz.

David Rendle at the National Equine Forum

⚠️⛔️ David Rendle from the The British Equine Veterinary Association asks: 'Is wormer resistance an issue of people or parasites?' at the National Equine Forum. This is SO worth a watch - the heath of our horse population depends on the answer...

How to take a sample for a worm egg count

A worm egg count is a useful test to monitor the presence of redworm and ascarid eggs, some of the most common and dangerous horse parasites. In this video we show you how to take and send a sample to the lab for testing. This simple test will help to determine whether a wormer is needed. Regular worm egg counts, conducted every 8-12 weeks, help to reduce wormer use by up to 82% which helps to slow drug resistance as well as being better for the horse, your pocket and the environment.

Westgate Labs; our nature reserve on the farm

Here at Westgate our purpose built lab is on the family farm in Northumberland. For the last 30 years most of the land has been part of a massive opencast coal mine. This has recently been restored. Spurred on by devastating reports on the state of our declining countryside we've made the decision to turn 73 acres into a designated nature reserve to create a haven for plants and animals. Around 50 acres of this is new tree planting and the remainder is ponds, wetland and grassland that even after a few short years is already teaming with life.

Blood testing for small redworm

A new blood test is now available through your vet to determine whether treatment is required for encysted redworm. Here we test two horses, Lily and Chocolate, who both meet the criteria for testing to see what their results show. Despite both of them being kept together we get some surprising results. According to advice, horses with previous faecal egg count results greater than 200 e.p.g. within the last year are considered high risk and may not be appropriate for this innovative new test, so should receive a routine treatment for encysted redworm. If your horse is classed as low risk - worm counts of no greater than 200 e.p.g. 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 the chemical and delay resistance.

How does targeted worming help our Dung Beetles and why should we care?

💩🐞 Dung beetles are nature’s recyclers, clearing our pastures by feeding and burying animal faeces and destroying parasite eggs. Sadly British dung beetles are in decline. The chemicals we use to treat livestock for parasites can be extremely toxic to them; wormers have had a devastating effect on native populations of these important little creatures. By targeting our wormers and reducing the amount of chemicals on the pasture we help to look after our beetles, benefiting not just our horses but the flora and fauna around us. In return they can save us money and time!

 

Twenty Years of Westgate Labs; how it all began

Twenty years ago few people had even heard about the problem of drug resistance and the technique of using worm counts with their horses for parasite control. That was until David & Gillian set out to change this from a tiny laboratory they created in the old dairy of their farm in Northumberland. Meet them as they talk through the history of Westgate over the last twenty years; how it began, its ethos and the evolution of the business helping people with the parasite control of their horses.

Four Winter Worm Count Myths Busted

There’s a common misconception that worm egg counts can’t be used over winter but there are a number of instances when testing can provide very useful information between December and February.