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Worming advice

At Spring Paddocks Equine Clinic we are following the current scientific evidence on Parasitic Control and thus aim to reduce the use of chemicals in horses and to minimise the development of worm resistance to current wormers thereby:

  • reducing the contamination of these animals
  • reducing the contamination of the bedding/manure & pastureland
  • reducing the build up of resistance to these products

General management tips

Monitoring worm levels

Use faecal worm egg counts and tapeworm ELISA (blood sample) as methods of monitoring worm levels. (Faecal Worm Egg counts are carried out in house – a fresh sample (walnut size) can be dropped off at the clinic on a weekday morning and results obtained within 24 hours).

By monitoring worm levels only those horses that are contaminating the pasture are wormed which helps reduce the use of chemicals and will ultimately slow down the inevitable resistance that is developing to most of the chemical groups that are available. There are no new groups of worming products on the horizon so we need to ensure we delay the onset of resistance!

Accurate dosing

Accurate dosing according to the horse’s weight is essential. Under-dosing results in more worms surviving, resulting in pasture contamination, as well as contributing to the development of resistance. Weigh Tapes are available from the clinic or discuss having your horse weighed on our digital weighbridge.

New arrivals

All new arrivals onto a yard should be:

  • Kept stabled/isolated for 48 hours to ensure eggs are passed out of the horse before being let out onto the pasture.
  • A worm egg count and blood sample for tapeworm Elisa should be carried out to determine their worm burden.
  • Then wormed according to veterinary advice.

Strategic worm control is vital in pregnant mares and youngstock.

  • Pregnant mares - if being turned out with their foals onto “foal pasture” may require worming before foaling to ensure the foal is born into a “clean” environment.  Check product to ensure it is licensed for use in pregnant mares - please consult one of our vets for further advice.
  • Mares should be wormed with an Ivemectin based wormer in the 24 hours following foaling.
  • Worming of foals should start at four - six weeks of age, continuing treatment until six months of age with a faecal egg count every 6 weeks. This can vary according to each individual's environment and must be discussed with a vet.
  • Always check the “age from use” of any wormer to ensure its suitability for use in foals.

Regular dung removal

Ideally at least twice weekly during the grazing season and once a week from November to March. Twice weekly removal all year round is advised if the Autumn and Winter remain mild.

Graze pasture with sheep or cattle

Worms are normally host specific therefore co-grazing may reduce worm contamination of pasture. Do not over stock or over graze paddocks.

Harrowing

This is only successful in dry hot conditions and not when damp as this only succeeds in spreading worm eggs over all the pasture.

It is essential that all horses are wormed for encysted redworm in the winter and wormed for tapeworm at least once in Autumn or Spring.