It is vital to liaise with your vet regarding a worming programme for your horse or pony as getting it right is a complicated task!
Worming only works if done correctly. The following things should be taken into account:
- Firstly, an accurate estimation of the horse’s body weight should be taken, this is done at 6-monthly intervals using our portable weigh scales.
- Secondly, the appropriate type of worming drug needs to be chosen mainly depending upon the time of year because different internal parasites have different life cycles, but also the age of your horse as horses under 18 months have different worming needs.
- Depending on the individual circumstances of your horse and the time of year, it may be possible to reduce the need for routine worming if regular faecal worm egg counts are taken under veterinary supervision.
- Horses suitable for faecal worm egg count targeted worming programmes include those that are kept on well managed pasture where the droppings are removed daily, always in the same groups or kept alone and with no history of worm burden problems. If your horse fits into these categories you may be able to cut worming expense by using faecal worm egg counts at certain times of the year.
- If a faecal worm egg count comes back positive it is advisable to get another one done 14 days after the horse has been treated to help monitor for drug resistance.
- A blood test can be performed to test for tapeworm but it is also advisable to worm twice a year for tapeworm, this is done alongside worming for encysted redworm as these do not show up in faecal worm egg counts i.e. in the Spring (once the weather is consistently in double figures) and in the Autumn (after the first frost when the weather is consistently cold over a 48 hour period).
- It is important to avoid drug resistance because the wormers we use now are the final line of defence against worm infestation – there are no new drugs in development.
The worming programme provided by Lingfield Equine Vets costs £100 per year per horse. It includes all faecal worm egg counts as needed and all necessary wormers are provided throughout the year. It also includes two weigh sessions, one when the client joins the programme and a second 6 months later.
If the programme is not joined then faecal worm egg counts and weighs can be paid for separately, wormers can also be bought from the practice. The costs are:
(The cost of wormers vary).