What you need to know about managing parasites in your yard
Scientific evidence has shown that only about 20% of horses have high worm egg counts (less in yards where horses are stabled for most of the day, e.g. racing yards) and actually need to be de-wormed
Where there are high egg counts, these are often resistant to treatment, and in some cases deworming treatments have been shown to increase rather than decrease worm egg counts – routine de-worming is therefore NOT the answer.
Owing to increased resistance to treatment, there is no longer a “silver bullet” treatment to eradicate all worms in all horses every time and often veterinary input is required to address the problem.
Worm egg counts should be done regularly, as each count can reveal different status, the extent of paddock contamination, and treatment requirements owing to the life cycle and species of parasite
If your horses are exposed to standing water, streams or dams, they should be tested for Gastrodiscus in addition to a standard worm egg count.
Pinworm eggs cannot be found in faeces, and can be simply diagnosed and treated appropriately when a horse scratches only its tail, but not its mane or other parts of its body.
If a horse has a borderline egg count, it could fluctuate up or down, and therefore should be retested within 30 days (at no further charge to you the owner) to see if treatment is required.
Following Worm-Ex Lab prescribed treatment a horse should be retested within 10 to 30 days to check the efficacy of the treatment (this too is at no extra charge)
All interpretations and advice will be based on a sound veterinary understanding of equine parasites and the environment.
Signs of a possible worm problem
• Weight loss
• Dermatitis (Pinworms Strongyloides westeri
Onchocerca cervicalis Habronema - summer sores)
• Central Nervous System Signs (Helicephalobus deletrix)
• Respiratory signs (ascarids and lungworms)