We may have only had a tease of the sunshine so far, but the days are officially getting longer and very soon we will all be putting our clocks back; we are nearing ever closer to the start of British springtime, we for sure cannot wait! Although spring generally prompts thoughts of sunny days, bright flowers and the birth of baby animals, it is also an important time for tackling your horse’s parasite control programme.
Worm Egg Counts
Roughly 3 months after your winter worming dose against Encysted Redworm, is the best time to have Worm Egg Counts carried out to check for Redworm and Roundworm eggs. For many, spring marks the beginning of the grazing season, meaning an increase in parasite transmission, with parasite larvae waiting on grazing blades to be eaten by an unsuspecting horse to enter their system and begin their development (see Parasite lifecycle below).
The results from these Worm Egg Counts, along with our experts’ recommendations, will give you all the knowledge you need about whether or not your horses require treatment against Redworm and Roundworm, and if so what products to use!
This process helps to decrease unnecessary worming, and therefore helps to tackle the development of anthelmintic resistance, which you can read about HERE.
2. Tapeworm Testing
Similarly to testing for Redworm and Roundworm, Spring is the optimal time to test for Tapeworm antibodies.
"Only 25% of horses tested require treatment for Tapeworm"
We offer this service using Equisal Tapeworm. Equisal provide kits to collect your horse’s saliva, which is sent off to their labs. This saliva is used to identify Tapeworm antibodies, and therefore distinguish the level of infection, if any. These results will be reported back to you, along with your Worm Egg Count results, and a full recommendation of the next course of action in your responsible worming programme.
Only 25% of horses tested require treatment for Tapeworm, meaning a substantial number of horses which do not follow diagnostic programmes are being treated with anthelmintics unnecessarily, aiding in the development of resistance.
Find more information about Equisal Tapeworm testing here.
3. Resistance testing
If your horse does require a wormer treatment, then it is crucial that you have a Resistance test carried out approximately 2 weeks later. These resistance tests will aid in a Faecal Egg Count Reduction test which will identify if there are more eggs present in the sample than you would expect for the specific drug used.
Resistance tests are incredibly important for a few reasons;
1. First of all, it is crucial to know that the worming treatment you have used, has actually been effective. Without a resistance test, you run the risk of leaving your horse with a potentially harmful parasite burden as you are unaware that your worming treatment has not been effective.
2. Additionally, if the reduction test highlights a possibility of the development of resistance to that wormer, it is important that this drug is removed from your horse’s programme to help fight against further development of anthelmintic resistance.
Due to resistance tests being so crucial in keeping your horses healthy, and fighting the spread of resistance, we offer follow up resistance tests free of charge!
Find out more about Resistance tests here!
For any questions you may have, please contact us on;