Horses

Horses

Worm Control for Horses

 

 

There are many species of worms that can affect our horses.  These species include

-          ASCARIDS (Large Roundworms)

-          STOMACH Worms

-          PINWORMS

-          TAPEWORMS

-          Small Strongyles (Red Worms)

-          Large Strongyles (Blood Worms)

-          Thread worms

-          Bots (a fly larvae living in the stomach)


. Small strongyles cause problems because part of their life cycle involves’ going to sleep ‘ in the gut lining .

Regular treatment will decrease the risk of disease caused by these worms.

 

. Tapeworms have been shown in recent times to be responsible for many types of colic. A regular worming program using products that are effective against tapeworm is essential.

 

.Large Strongyles- if left untreated can cause serious disease and colic as they migrate through the blood vessels of the intestine.

 

LIFECYCLE

99% of equine parasites live on the pasture and are our horses are exposed to them every day.  These parasites in the environment may be at different stages of their lifecycle, as may be the ones inside your horse.

 

ASPECTS OF Control

Removal of Manure from pastures, moving horses to a clean paddock after worming(Dose and worm),Examination of faeces by your vet to see what worm eggs are present(Faecal egg count)and appropriate rotation of de-worming preparations should slow the development of resistance and keep our horses healthy.

 

PASTURE CONTROL

Manure should be removed from pasture at least twice weekly.  Spelling of paddocks for several months during summer or alternating with sheep/cattle can reduce larval numbers on the ground.  Harrowing is beneficial in the hot dry months as the larvae will dry out and die but it can be disadvantageous if done during the wetter times of the year , as the larvae are merely spread to all corners of the paddock.

 

A Maximum stocking density of one horse per acre must be adhered to at all times to help maintain pasture contamination levels . Feeding horses from troughs or up off the ground will decrease  the number of larvae they ingest.

 

 MARE AND FOAL Specifics

 

A pregnant mare and her foal represent a different  challenge to your worming program.  Because foals lack specific immunity to worms and are faced with a dose  challenge  from the mother it is recommended to treat  the mare 2 weeks prior to expected foaling and both the mother and foal be treated

When the foal is 4weeksof age. Routine worming of both mother and foal should the occur every 8 weeks until weaning.

 

WORMING ROTATION

Current advice dictates that we should practice ‘slow rotation’.  This means we should change our wormers on an annual basis.  In order to maintain an effective worming strategy this entails selecting a safe efficacious wormer with a broad spectrum of activity and using that wormer for a year.  The following year should see a change to a different wormer that contains no related  active ingredients.  The third year would see a return to using the same wormer as year 1.  The date chosen to change the wormer does not matter as long as it is memorable to you.

 

WORMING SUMMARY

Inappropriate use of wormers can be costly, Both directly by not effectively reducing worms and indirectly through poor animal health.
The two common families of de-wormers available in Australia are the ....ectins (Mectins) and the ...azoles(BZ’s)

 

.The mectins are highly effective against allworms and bots but ineffective against tapeworms.

 

. The addition of praziquantel or morantel to mectin based wormers  will treat all worms including tapeworms and bots

 

. The BZ wormers have a narrower spectrum of activity and do not treat bots or tapeworms.

 

.The addition of pyrantel to a BZ ensures that  worms  resistant to BZs are killed with a single dose.

 

. Treat all horses on a property at the same time regardless of wormer used and then move them to a clean paddock.

 

. Begin treating foals at four weeks of age.

 

. Worm  pregnant mares 2 weeks prior to expected foaling date.

 

. DO NOT UNDERDOSE with any dewormer.

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