We have spring babies and it always is a good idea to make sure everyone in the barn is healthy and happy. So here are a couple tips from our friends across the pond at NUTReCARE;
Article by Scott Clawson
Equine parasites are, unfortunately, a problem that will persist throughout your horse’s life, and is considered impossible to ever completely get rid of them. However, this does not mean that the problem should be ignored or considered a nonissue.
Horse wormers can come in all types of variations; the multi-purpose wormer Equimax comes in either a syringe to be administered at the back of the horse’s tongue, or in tablet form to be mixed with its feed. As well as the different variations, there are also different methods of treatment. Purge worming is strong dose of wormers, given every 2-3 months, that quickly kills large amounts of worms, and continuous worming is a daily dose that aims to keep the parasites at a constant low level.
The best strategies for de-worming revolve around the idea of parasitic resistance; if a parasite is prevented from taking hold by the same type of horse wormer over a long period of time then the population may develop genetic resistance.
A common tactic is to provide a continuous, low dose of wormer for a couple of months, and then give the horse a purge wormer. This keeps the parasites under a certain threshold, before wiping the population clean and beginning the course again. It should become such a standard in your horse care routine as topping up your dog’s bowl with its daily dose of Iams is to your household pet routine. Another tactic is to worm your horse at strategic points in the year, based on how many parasitic eggs you find in the faeces of your animal. However, it is important to take into account the time of year when the faecal sample is taken and the type of parasite you are watching for, as some eggs may not show up and your results can become unreliable.
A successful horse worming programme is one that has been planned carefully, and it is important that you check with your local vet beforehand. They will ensure that your plan is the best possible for your horse’s age, breed, and geographical location, and can advise you on other areas which can be improved in order to help prevent parasites, such as setting up a science plan or high-quality diet.