To use a wormer or to test?

October 24, 2021

As part of a strategic worming programme, we recommend that all horses are either treated or tested for encysted redworm and tapeworm as the temperature drops and we get overnight frosts over the coming months.

But what are the options and what best suits your horse(s)?

  • Equest Pramox is a combination wormer containing moxidectin and praziquantel, which will target both tapeworm, redworm and encysted redworm. It is suitable for horses and ponies over 6.5 months of age. It should be used when temperatures are consistently low and overnight frosts are common.

To reduce our reliance on chemical dewormers and to slow the development of resistance or if your horse experiences any adverse effects after administration of a wormer, it may be recommended to perform testing to see if deworming is required:

  •  Equisal is a saliva test to measure levels of tapeworm antibodies, which can be performed by owners and sent off for veterinary interpretation of results. These kits can be picked up from either of our clinics.
  • Encysted redworm burdens can be measured via serum antibodies from a blood test. If you would like to test for encysted redworm, a blood test can be booked on our discounted visit scheme.

From ‘Guidelines for use: small redworm blood test; Austindavis Biologics Ltd’

The blood test is not suitable for horses who have received a dewormer containing moxidectin in the last 4 months, or horses who are considered ‘high risk’ from the table below – these horses should be treated with an Equest Pramox instead.

If you have any questions about any aspect of worming your horse or to book in an appointment for a blood test, please call our clinics on 01327 811009 (Towcester) or 01788 523000 (Onley).

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