Worm egg tests

This week it was time to do our worm egg tests again. Migs has been using Worm Egg testing for the last few years for all the liveries, although it isn’t a completely natural approach to worming it does enable us to use a reduced-wormer strategy, (reducing the amount of times we use wormer) & therefore reduces the number of chemicals we use in the horses.

Worming & correct management of your worming program is very important as worm infestations left untreated can result in serious illness & indeed death of a horse, if you are unsure if your current program is appropriate discuss it with your vet, it is worth remembering that it is worth reassessing your program on a regular basis to ensure it is still appropriate to your circumstances.

The worm egg tests enable us to monitor the number of large & small redworm in the horses, although they aren’t able to determine if the horse has encysted red worm, tapeworm (tapeworm can be tested for, using a tapeworm antibody test, but this would need to be done by your vet & you would need to speak to them to discuss this options) or bots, which means you still need to treat for these on an annual basis with the program we follow, if you are unsure it is well worth discussing your options with your vet.

Worm egg count testing is becoming increasingly popular in the UK where we have started to have problems developing with worms becoming resistant to some of the available wormers on the market. It means that you only need to worm your horse if it returns a high egg count, so basically you only worm your horse when it is required rather then on a regular basis regaurdless of whether your horse is carrying worms or not.

We use Abbey Diagnostics, who offer a great service at a reasonable price, even sending out the future kits in time for the next test, so it makes it easier to keep track of when everything is due.

Although I found some great information on Westgate Labs site: http://www.westgatelabs.co.uk, when I was looking to find out a little bit more.

Of course another important consideration in worming your horses, or reducing the amount of wormers needed is good paddock management, most importantly picking up droppings on a regular basis (at least weekly).

Trying to ensure the same horses graze together & if a new horse enters the yard, that they are tested & wormed before being allowed to graze in with the other animals is also important.

Ensuring there is adequate grazing for the number of animals & allowing the grazing to be regularly rested is also useful.

We the correct management for the last 2 years we have only had to worm for encysted red worm & tapeworm, reducing both our worming costs & the use of chemicals in our horses greatly.

I think I will investigate a little more to see if there are any successful natural alternative wormers on the market. If anyone has used any with success I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment.

Until next time

With Love

Fiona & Jasper



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