Use a targeted approach to worming – carry out a worm egg count for each horse and then you can make an informed decision to whether your horse requires treatment in the form of a wormer or whether your pasture management is working well enough not to warrant a treatment at that time – giving your horse worming treatment when they have no or very low worm burden can cause a resistance to the drugs used in the worming products.

                       

There are different types of worm counts available for you to use –

  • Faecal worm counts – this tests for the presence of redworm and roundworm found in your horses droppings.
  • Saliva test – this tests for presence of tapeworm.
  • Sellotape impression test – this tests for the presence of pinworm. (Look out for signs of pinworm in the Spring and Summer – the most common sign is excessive tail head itching)

ensure you follow a worming programme – effective worm control aims to prevent worms from completing their life cycle and therefore preventing further pasture contamination.

Good pasture management has a major part in worm prevention – as this will minimise the number of worms consumed by your horse whilst grazing.

Tips for good pasture management –

  1. Poo pick regularly.
  2. Make sure your muck heap is away from areas that are grazed by your horse.
  3. Don’t over stock your grazing – overgrazing your fields will encourage your horse to graze close to the ground and next to droppings, this is where the concentration of parasite eggs/larvae will be highest.
  4. Do not harrow to spread droppings as this will spread parasites across your pasture

For further information please contact your vet or visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org and www.westgatelabs.co.uk .

 

 

 

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