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Worms In Horses

Regular worm control of internal parasites is important to ensure freedom from worm related conditions.

Heavy worm burdens can lead to recurring colic, poor condition, lack of thrift, chronic or acute diarrhoea, poor stamina and coat condition, and lack of performance in horses of all ages.

Worms living in the tissues and the gut are true parasites, using the horses body as a source of nutrition and lodging. Even a small number of worms in larval stages can cause severe and permanent internal damage.  Unfortunately, during this migratory period (up to 6 months for bloodworms) the larval stages are not controlled by all worming compounds. The worms do not multiply in the horses body but through microscopic eggs passed in the manure. Studies have shown that up to 99% of a worm population exists as eggs or larvae on the pasture or in stable bedding. Worm eggs either hatch to produce minute larvae (bloodworms, small redworms) or develop into infective eggs on the pasture (large roundworms,pinworms and tapeworms).

Tapeworms have emerged as a significant problem in Australia with up to 60% of horses being infected. Tapeworms live at the junction between the small and large bowel and heavy burdens can cause colic, blockage, ulcers and in some cases death.

Most horses have worms. The type and relative burden can be identified following flotation separation of worm eggs from a fresh manure sample examined by your Vet.

Regular worming should not be the only consideration to improve efficiency of worm control. Others include careful attention to dosing techniques to avoid under dosing and wastage, rotation of worming compounds every 12months, timing of worming to suit seasonal conditions and monitor manure egg counts. In addition, regular collection of manure in stables, yards and small paddocks will reduce uptake of infective larvae.

Careful grazing and pasture management to reduce egg and larvae uptake and limit worm survival on pasture, are essential to minimise worm burdens in larger paddocks.

The staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital are happy to assist you with any advice on worm control in your horse and stock a large range of effective worming treatments.

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Arrow in a Cows Chest

Here are some photos of a arrow that was removed from a cow.

The cow has survived and had subsequently rasted 2 calves.