How do we help stop this? One way is to ensure that you only worm when absolutely required, i.e. when your horse is infected and when you know precisely what to worm for. The practice in the UK for many years has been to just worm your horses a few times a year whether they are infected with worms or not. Ridiculous right, you wouldn't dose yourself up with Flu Relief if you didn't have flu and you wouldn't take antibiotics without an infection that was diagnosed by a doctor to require them, so why do we worm our horses when we don't know if they need it or not?
I think the problem is that it is is easier to just order a wormer and pump it in, rather than trying to work out the alternative. BUT, what if there was an easy way to test that was quick and inexpensive?
What worms are you testing for? Redworm, roundworm, tapeworm and pinworm.
What do you do? To start with, find out if your horse needs a worming treatment by using worming egg count test kits.
What test kits do you need?
- Redworm and roundworm – Dung egg count test kit;
- Pinworm – Selotape Test;
Combination test kit for pinworm, redworm and roundworm – £11.50 per kit here;
- Tapeworm (cannot be detected by dung egg count test) – Equisal Saliva Test, here from Westgate - costs £17.95;
The price includes everything – the kit and the test and the results that will be emailed or posted to you. Its all super simple and very easy to do.
How do you do it? When you receive the test kit, follow the instructions closely – they are simple. Fresh dung is very important.
When to test using the kits? At the beginning of each season – Spring 1st March, Summer 1st July, Autumn 1st September, Winter 1st December.
Why bother? Worms can cause a huge amount of damage to the intestines of your horse that can lead to colic and diarrhoea, blockage of intestines and tail rubbing to name a few. Start using egg-testing kits so that you can save money on buying unnecessary wormers, treat only using the right type of wormer and help prevent resistance to wormers and get a healthy horse.
Results! When you get your results by post or email they will tell you how many of each type of worm egg is present and you can then select the correct wormer for those particular type of worms and you do not need to worm unnecessarily. You should save money long term by not having to order unnecessary wormers.