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Worming Guide

A GUIDE TO WORMING YOUR HORSE

 

EVERY FEBRUARY (AND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR) WE SELL COMPLETE ANNUAL WORMING PROGRAMMES TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS; THESE INCLUDE ALL THE WORMERS FOR THE YEAR WITH A CALENDAR - WORM EGG COUNTS CAN BE INCLUDED AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY GOOD VALUE

 

Despite major medical and pharmaceutical advances, the sad fact is that at the beginning of the twenty first century, horses and ponies still die from the effects of worms (endoparasites).  Although youngsters and aged horses seem more at risk; horses of any age can suffer from the debilitating effects of worms, such as, weight loss, diarrhoea, colic, poor performance and unthriftiness.

                                        

                                                                 Colic

There are many types of worms, which can infest your horse; different types of parasite are killed by different types of wormers (anthelmintics).

 

Simplistically: -

 

TAPEWORM

are only killed by a double dose of pyrantel e.g. Strongid-P, Pyratape-P, Exodus, Embotape

or a single dose of praziquantel  Equi-max, Equitape

 

BOTS

are only killed by ivermectin e.g. Eqvalan, Normectin, Vectin, Bimectin, Eraquell or Equi-max

or moxidectin e.g. Equest

 

 

Bots in the stomach

 

ENCYSTED LARVAL STAGES OF REDWORM

may not be totally eliminated by any product but a five day course of fenbendazole, i.e. Panacur Equine Guard and Moxidectin (Equest) are the only products licensed for treatment.

(worm resistance to fenbendazole has been identified in some areas)

 

 

 

Red worm on dung

 

OTHER STAGES OF REDWORM, OTHER STRONGYLES AND ROUNDWORM

arekilled by all groups of wormers; although in some areas,

resistance to Benzimidazoles and pyrantel  have been discovered

 

 

Owning a horse is a very expensive business and worming them correctly contributes to the annual budget by around £100 per horse per year.  The introduction of Equest (containing Moxidectin) to the UK market may help to reduce costs; manufacturers claim that it can provide a prolonged reduction in faecal strongyle egg output of 13 weeks compared to 8-10 wks ivermectin; 4-6 wks pyrantel; 6-8 wks fenbendazole.  It has no action on tapeworm or lungworm, but has some effect on stages of bot larvae and inhibited redworm larvae.  Equimax is the latest market addition, it kills all endoparasites except encysted redworm larvae in ONE dose, providing up to 10 weeks protection.

 

All these parasites spend part of their lifecycle outside the host (your horse), which is why pasture management is so important.  Regular (TWICE WEEKLY) removal of dung from pasture will greatly reduce the number of infective eggs/larvae that your horse can ingest and is the cheapest way of protecting your horse from worm damage.  If you regularly poo pick & have a static population of horses then at certain times of the year it is cost-effective to have worm egg counts performed on the dung (It costs about £10.00 for us to test the dung in our lab).  If a horse’s faecal egg count is negative / low, you can be environmentally friendly & save money by missing out a wormer.

                                                   

                                                      Using wormer paste

Because there is not a single product available, which kills all endoparasites, different types of wormer need to be used.  Knowing the lifecycle of the parasite helps determine which product to use at different times of the year.  Recently Equest have launched Equest pramox which will kill all types of worms, but to use it all the time is overkill and likely to create problems with worms becoming resistant to drugs.  Below are 2 examples of protocols I have used for the past few years.  We produce annual worming packages each Jan / Feb at greatly reduced costs to you – SEE ANNUAL WORMING PROGRAMS.

 

 

TIME OF YEAR

 

 

PRODUCT USED

Mid February

Panacur Equine Guard

6 wks later - End of March

Equimax or double dose of pyrantel

 

6 wks later - starting

second week of May,

throughout the summer

 until late September

(***)

Ivermectin every 8-10wks

or

Moxidectin every 13wks

or

Pyrantel every 4-6wks

or

Benzimidazole every 6-8wks

Late September (after frost)

Equimax  or double dose of pyrantel

6wks later - Early November

Panacur Equine Guard

6wks later - Mid December

Ivermectin

 

TIME OF YEAR

 

 

PRODUCT USED

Mid December

Equest

Mid March

Equimax  or double dose of pyrantel

Early May (***)

Equest

Mid August (***)

Equest

Early November

Equimax  or double dose of pyrantel

 

(***) Time to perform faecal egg counts on all horses you are trying to skip a wormer dosage for. (laboratory fees around £10; cheaper if >5)

 

                                            

 

Significant weight loss

WORMING TIPS

·       Worm all horses at the same time.

·       Worm all new horses prior to turnout and keep in for 3-4 days.

·       Worm foals from 6 weeks of age (ivermectin, pyrantel or equimax; moxidectin after 4 months of age).

·       Keep horses in for 24-48 hours after dosing.

·       Equest, eqvalan, equimax, strongid-P & pyratape-P are all OK to give to pregnant or lactating mares, but as always keep handling stresses to a minimum.

·       Your horse’s weight can be estimated by use of a weigh tape, a weighbridge is more accurate.  Equest can be toxic if overdosed so MUST BE DOSED ACCURATELY.

·       Tapeworm spread via forage mites in hay & feed/straw.  Autumn tapeworm dosing should be performed after the first frost or end of the grazing season.

·       To avoid resistance, altering your main wormer annually remains a valid consideration, but you must still use enough products to kill all groups of worm.

·       Be careful with horse wormers and other animals e.g. Equest has been fatal to dogs.  Dispose of containers carefully & thoughtfully.

ASK YOUR VET

EVERY FEBRUARY (AND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR) WE SELL COMPLETE ANNUAL WORMING PROGRAMMES TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS; THESE INCLUDE ALL THE WORMERS FOR THE YEAR WITH A CALENDAR - WORM EGG COUNTS CAN BE INCLUDED AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY GOOD VALUE