Microsoft word - confused about worming horses1.doc
There are two different methods of worming your horse – using a routine worming programme, or worming strategically. Routine worming means you worm your horse throughout the year, at the interval described by the wormer you have chosen to use. Strategic worming means you only worm your horse if a faecal sample indicates that they have a high worm burden. The enclosed information will help you decide which method will suit your horses and how to implement each programme. WHICH WORMING METHOD IS MOST
How to use a routine worming programme Chose a wormer for the year from one of the drug groups below (either alone or in combination)
• Avermectins e.g. ivermectin or moxidectin based wormers • Pyrantel based wormers • Praziquantel based wormers • Benzimadazoles e.g. fenbendazole based wormers
Use these wormers throughout the year at the recommended interval, remembering it varies from drug to drug. It can be useful to mark a calendar to plan the next date of worming.
Remember tapeworm treatment in the spring and autumn.
Remember small redworm larvicidal dose between November and January
• Worm at two and six weeks of age with Panacur paste • Keep foaling boxes disinfected • Eraquell (ivermectins) can be used from 4 weeks of age • Strongid P (pyrantel) can be used from 8 weeks of age • Equest (moxidectin) can be used from 5 months of age • Tapeworm treatment should only be necessary from the autumn of the year
of birth (spring if the foal is very late)
• Check how your worming programme is working by collecting a fresh
dropping sample and bringing it into the practice for a worm egg count (WEC) with same day results.
• Best time for droppings sample is 2 weeks after worming although if you
can’t remember that just collect one and hand it in.
• A blood sample is required to test for tapeworms and to show tapeworm
Strategic worming means you only worm the horse if the faecal worm egg count (WEC) is greater than 200 eggs per gram. Recent research shows that a low level of worms encourages the horse to improve his own immunity against worms. If the horse did not require worming, a repeat sample is taken 8 -12 weeks from the original sample. If the samples continue to be negative the intervals between sampling can be stretched to 2-4 times per year. Advantages of strategic worming:-
Cost effective – only treat those that need worming Less resistance – worms are not exposed to excessive worming drugs so take longer to adapt and become resistant to the drugs
Environmentally friendly – less build up of drugs on the pasture
If you decide to use strategic worming, do bear in mind that:-
All horses need to have repeated WEC Youngstock require repeated worming as they are more susceptible to worms
Pasture rotation to give each area a rest of at least 3 months
Mixed species grazing – equine parasites cannot survive in cattle and sheep
Tapeworm levels not assessed – either worm in spring and autumn for tapeworm or use blood samples to detect any tapeworm infection Small redworm larvae not assessed - use a larvicidal dose once yearly between November and January
OPTIMISING ANY HORSE WORM CONTROL PROGRAMME
Use correct dose for weight Spillers have kindly provided a set of equine scales for free client use. These are based at Alnwick and you are welcome to drop in with your horse for a weigh-in. Breed type/Height – a rough guide to weights Mature Shetland
• worm as arrive for all parasites • ideally isolate for 7 days in a stable or separate paddock so any worms
excreted do not become a new resident population
Remember other infectious diseases require approximately 2 weeks of isolation
e.g. strangles, ringworm, herpes virus, equine influenza.
• Rest pasture for at least 3 months if possible • Clean pasture reduces the worm burden the horse is exposed to • Do be aware if the horse/pony is prone to laminitis or tying up
• Especially important if on restricted grazing as worm larvae migrate from
• horse worms are unable to survive in these animals
The following table shows you the worming drugs available and their duration of action. It must be noted that duration of action differs between drugs, as do the parasites targeted.
Kills all except tapeworm Effective against encysted
An example of a worming programme for horses
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