Horses suffering from worms will experience a variety of health issues including weight loss, lethargy and colic. They may also succumb to serious diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract. It is vital that you undertake the appropriate worming programme which includes good husbandry, regular checks and the administering of equine wormers.
Testing for Worms
You can use a worm count kit to establish whether or not your horse needs worming. Horses with a low count should not be wormed as it is essential to maintain a refugia. This is a small population of worms which have never been exposed to wormers. Worms can become resistant to the treatments if overexposed.
Good pasture management is essential for worm control. Do not overstock pastures, remove droppings regularly and do not use horse manure as fertiliser unless it has been composted. Rotate horses between paddocks or sections of paddock and harrow rested pasture to bring parasite larvae to the surface where they will dehydrate and die. Allow pasture to rest in the winter when parasites will die off and, if possible, graze sheep or cattle in the pasture to ingest and eliminate larvae to which they are resistant.
There are three worming strategies which you may adopt. These are interval dosing, strategic dosing and targeted strategic dosing. The latter is now considered to be the best way to tackle the issue of resistance. Here worm counts should be conducted. Horses with counts over 200 epg should be treated. However, developing redworms and tapeworms will not be detected by these tests. You can overcome this problem by treating in spring and November with a broad spectrum anthelmintic which is formulated to address tapeworms. Alternatively a tapeworm antibody Elisa test can be used to detect tapeworms and redworms.
At Equi Supermarket we have a comprehensive range of effective worm treatments in the form of oral pastes, oral liquids, oral granules and palatable powders. The Strongid, Eraquell, Equest, Panacur and Verm X products contain active ingredients to tackle a variety of worms and parasites. Consult the product descriptions to discover the correct product for your horse’s needs. Providing you horse with a nutritious diet will bolster its immune system and this will help with worm control.