Horse Worming..why make it complicated?
There is no doubt about it, when it comes to horse worming the process can be a complicated and costly matter.
The very thought of worms makes most squirm,so keeping on top of it is the best course of action, ie prevention is better than cure.
Owning an equine is one of the biggest commitments you will make and is both
time consuming and financially draining even with the healthiest of horses. This is why it is important to keep yours in tip-top condition and good health by deworming regularly.
One of the main health threats to your equine are parasites, namely Roundworm, Tapeworm and Insects. Symptoms could vary from minor irritations, poor condition and being off her feed, to mild or severe colic, leading eventually to death.
Your aim is to fight and prevent these parasites completing their life cycle. This can only be done through field management and regular deworming.
Try also to aim to keep your wormer programme as simple as possible, that way you will be more inclined to stick to it
Have a programme that you stick to throughout the year. Doses are normally recommended 4 times a year, but treatment for tapeworm is recommended in the spring and autumn, about every 6 months.
The main thing is to dose the right worms with the right product at the right time.
Every animal is different and so always consult your vet for an appropriate programme to suit your horses needs.
It’s important to keep a diary of when you worm and also what product you use. Most wormer products have a wall planner which may be provided or alternatively you can ask your vet for one.
All horses in the same yard or field should be wormed on the same day with the same product and treatment times, but if your are a first time owner, always keep a note of it yourself and find out about your yard’s programme when your new equine arrives.
All new arrivals should be wormed regardless of where they have come from. You maybe asked to keep her on box rest for 24 hours to ensure any eggs can pass out before being turned out into the field. Slightly over dosing won’t do her any harm, and you need to be in the same routine as the other horses.. but check with your vet if you are in any doubt.
Resistance can develop in some worms, this means that certain parasites, over time, won’t be killed because these ones have become resistant to an active ingredient within that product. This happens mainly, when a product is used too much, ie intervals between each treatment have been shorter.
In order to discourage resistance, it is important to have a worm check now and then – (annually) a faecal worm count..to see if a different product is needed to control the resistant worms. (Note that Tape Worm won’t show up in a faecal egg count, so a blood test will be needed to check to see if this worm is present.)
Regularly poo picking your pastures helps re-infection and combats resistance. This is recommended at least twice weekly. Again your yard should have a plan in place so that everyone poo picks a wheel barrow load a day. Divide pastures up into smaller ones, to make life easier when poo picking. Ensure one or two horses per acre If possible.
Always get to know the weight of your equine. Only guessing her weight could mean you maybe giving her an insufficient dose. Measure around her girth area and over estimate her weight by a small amount. Slightly over dosing is better than under dosing her as under dosing means that more worms will be left to continue their life cycle, as they reproduce, giving them the opportunity to become immune (resistant) to the drug later on. Slightly OVER dosing won't have any detrimental effect on your horse….If in ANY DOUBT, consult your VET.
…SO. A quick check list…
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Keep your plan/programme as simple as possible to – you are more likely to stick to it.
Consult your vet for an appropriate programme
Keep all new arrivals apart and on box rest for at least 24 hours.
ALWAYS weigh your horse. Ask your vet for a weigh tape.
Routinely worm (depending on your product)
Follow the product manufacturers dosing intervals....based on which product brand you are using.
Have annual faecal egg counts done
POO pick your pastures regularly.
Rest and rotate each pasture if possible.
…And REMEMBER... The main thing is to dose the right worms with the right product at the right time.
Click from horse worming to paddock grazing