Controlling worms is an important aspect of equine health, but one that is often poorly understood.
Targeted worming methods aim to promote horse health, ensure consistent performance and protect against resistance to wormers.
Worming methods have changed in recent years, these changes aim to promote horse health, ensure consistent performance and protect against resistance to wormers.
Traditionally worming products have been used periodically throughout the year regardless of worm burden, this is called interval dosing. The use of wormers in this way leads to horses receiving wormers they don’t always need, promotes resistance in worm populations and costs more financially. It is recommended that targeted worming is best practice and should be undertaken where possible. With targeted worming we use faecal worm egg counts (WEC), to decide if your horse requires worming and if so which wormer is best for your horse’s worm burden.
Faecal samples are easy to obtain and will be processed in our hospital laboratory to obtain the results. Targeted worming aims to improve your horse health whilst maintaining the effectiveness of wormers.
Resistance to wormers is a widespread and ongoing problem in the UK. Resistance occurs when a large proportion of worms on a pasture are not killed by the wormer being used. Resistance to wormers can have severe consequences in the affected animal. Resistance is not something that can be reversed so prevention is the only cure.
The main causes of resistance to wormers in horses are:
If we suspect resistance to a particular wormer it can be tested for.
The following points will guide you through the submission of a faecal sample.
The need to worm your horse can be greatly reduced by following as many of the following steps that are appropriate for your yard
There are many types of worming products out there; often these products contain 1 or 2 of the active ingredients below. If you have any questions regarding which wormer you should be using don’t hesitate to contact the hospital.
Ivermectin: Treats most stages of redworm and roundworm.
Moxidectin: Treats encysted red worm larvae and roundworm. Not to be used in foals.
Pyrantel:Can be used in animals older then 4 weeks old. Double dose will treat tapeworm. Also treats adult redworm and large roundworm.
Praziquantel: effective against tapeworms only
Fenbendazole: Used for 5 consecutive days to treat encysted red worm larvae
Also effective against large and small redworm and large roundworm.