Advice over worming horses has changed in recent years and nowadays the drive is for fewer but targeted treatments. There are increasing numbers of cases of wormer resistance cropping up and the previously advised overuse of wormers 4-6 times a year will only hasten this process. We are firmly of the belief that worm egg counts can help in this, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals you are giving to your horse and saving you money. Horses vary in their susceptibility to worms and should be treated as individuals, indeed we find that many horses often need no worming at all, however it is important that all the horses that share a field should have worm egg counts done at the same time.
New horses to premises should be treated with a quarantine dose before being turned out on your pasture. Please ask for advice on this.
When worming your horse it is important to use the correct dose for its weight. Weighbands are available to help with this and it is generally better to over-estimate rather than underdose.
Regardless of the level of worm burden found in your horse it is important that all horses are treated for tapeworm at least once, but preferably twice, in any twelve month period. Generally this should be carried out in the Spring and Autumn. Different products can be used to treat for tapeworm on their own if no other worms are present so always discuss this with us before embarking on a tapeworm control program.
As with roundworm treatments, it may also be beneficial to target dosing where it is required and to this end there has recently been developed a saliva test that can tell if your horse has had a recent infection with tapeworm. It is relatively straightforward to perform and can be done by yourself with no need for a veterinary visit; if the result is negative then there is no need to treat your horse. Please speak to one of our vets if this is of interest to you.