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 –
- Poo pick regularly.
- Make sure your muck heap is away from areas that are grazed by your horse.
- 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.
- 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 .