Towcester Equine Vets’ Equine worming programme

April 1, 2022

Worms in horses can cause serious problems, including (amongst others) diarrhoea, colic and weight loss. With Spring is in the air, now is the time to be thinking about your equine worming schedule. To help you understand why, we asked Abi Jennings, one of our equine vets, to explain a little bit about the Towcester Equine Vets worming programme.

Review your current equine worming programme

Taking a little time to review your worming programme will almost always pay dividends, as a seasonal check will ensure that you are using the most suitable equine worming products at the most suitable time of year.

Adopt a seasonally targeted approach

A seasonally targeted approach will be beneficial for every horse, pony and donkey because Anthelmintic (de-wormer) resistance is an ever-present threat that we are now encountering on a more frequent basis. Routine use of de-wormers is now an out-dated and irresponsible approach. Whilst targeted use of the right wormer at the right time is now at the forefront of the decision-making process we go through.

The Towcester Equine Vets worming programme

Towcester Equine Vets now recommend using a targeted deworming programme. We only treat those horses that are identified as requiring deworming, through the use of faecal worm egg counts (WEC) and other diagnostic testing. This approach can help reduce the use of drugs by up to 80%.
Whether it be for your yard or for individual horses, our worming programme can be tailored to best suit your needs. We have developed the programme to make monitoring and managing your horse’s worm burden as easy and simple as possible. The programme is made up of four elements:

1. Three faecal worm egg counts
These should be performed every 2-3 months throughout the Spring and Summer months, e.g. March, June, September.
Horses only need to be wormed if high worm egg burdens are identified – saving money on wormers and reducing resistance to the drugs we have available. Results are usually reported via email the next day, along with veterinary advice on the best wormer to use, if needed.

2. Equest Pramox
To be used in late autumn, targeting tapeworm and encysted redworm (larval stages) that cannot be measured by faecal worm egg counts. Young horses, those with a history of a high tapeworm burden or colic may also require worming for tapeworm in Spring.

3. Equisal Tapeworm Saliva Test
To be used in late Spring, this is an easy to perform test that owners are able to do themselves. Samples are analysed by an external laboratory to identify those horses with a higher tapeworm burden despite deworming over Winter, so they can be treated again if required. It is often useful to combine this with a faecal worm egg count at the same time, so the most suitable product can be selected depending on both results.

4. Use of a worming year planner
To help you keep track of when faecal worm egg counts and worming treatments are due.

Find out more and get on the programme

If you would like more information on our programme or want to pick up a ‘Worming Pack’ today, please contact the clinic on 01327 811007 or 01788 52300.

Abi Jennings BVM BVS (Hons) MRCVS
Abi joined us in 2015 from Nottingham University. She has a strong bias for internal medicine and has gained a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice, enabling her to provide current and evidence-based approaches to medical cases. Outside of work she enjoys baking, walking her Smooth Fox Terrier, Elphi and riding her ex-racehorse Annie.

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