Welcome to Supplement Solutions Worming Hub!
Our worming guru's (officially called SQP's) have compiled some of your most asked questions regarding worming and parasite control. We understand worm control is hugely suited to your horse's individual needs, this is why one of our friendly team members are always happy to help via email or phone if you have a question that's not answered here.
Worming is an important part of horse care. You should worm your horse to control any parasite burden your horse may have. If left untreated, parasites can pose serious health risks.
There are different tests available to test your horse for a worm burden. There are a few different factors which will determine what test to use and when such as time of year, pasture management and environmental changes.
It is really important to test then treat, this is to help prevent growing resistance in worms to the treatment options we have available. Resistance is a growing problem, so in an ideal world you should only treat your horse if a worm burden is present.
Worm resistance is caused by the over use of active ingredients found in worming products. This is when the worms build up a resistance to the active ingredient, making the wormer less effective. To help prevent resistance you should only worm when necessary and ensure the correct dose is administered. You can also help reduce resistance by changing which active ingredient is used each time you worm.
Yes, your donkey's worming programme should include faecal egg counts and routine worming for tapeworm. However, unlike horses, it is vital that donkeys are wormed for lungworm, as it is estimated that between 4 and 100% of donkeys in the UK carry this worm, often asymptomatically. This becomes even more important if the donkeys are mixing with horses, as the lungworm can cause horses to cough. There are only a small number of wormers that are licensed for use in donkeys, however vets can prescribe off-license if there is a particular wormer you require.
It is worth noting that when treating a donkey for tapeworm, a double dose of Pyrantel Embonate should be used unless specified by your vet. The treatment of choice for lungworm in Donkeys is Ivermectin.
Time to test!
There are two main types of test you can do:Faecal Egg Count (FEC)
A faecal egg count (also known as a worm egg count or a worm count) is a count of the number of large redworm eggs per gram of faeces. It will also identify the eggs of ascarids. Performed on a small sample of fresh droppings, this test is useful for routine monitoring of parasite status, identification of horses with high burdens that will require treatment and investigation of the parasite status of a new horse.Saliva Tapeworm Test (EquiSal)
The EquiSal Tapeworm Test is a revolutionary horse saliva test to tell whether your horse has tapeworm. The EquiSal team, consisting of four experienced scientists (one of whom was an inventor of the the Clear Blue pregnancy test) developed this innovative test for tapeworm using horse saliva that you collect yourself, without the need for a vet. The test measures antibodies in saliva which are specific to tapeworm, using a combination of two laboratory tests (called ELISAs).
Carry out an EquiSal Tapeworm Test as tapeworm is active at this time. If your test comes back positive you will need to worm using Praziquantel or a double dose of Pyrantel Emonate. These wormers will often also contain active ingredients which target roundworm so you would not need to do any further tests at this time. If your test comes back negative (clear), it is advised to then carry out a faecal egg count to test for roundworm.
During Summer months you should carry out faecal egg counts to test for roundworm. Often horses spend more time in the field with other horses, roundworm can be easily spread, especially if you do not know the status of other horses.
There are currently no tests available to test for worms during Winter without involving your vet for a blood sample. It is advised to worm for encysted red worm at this time with Moxidectin or a five day course of Fenbendazole based wormers to ensure the worms are treated at this stage. Whilst they are burrowed in the intestinal lining, other worms will not reach them.
If your test reveals your horse needs treating our in house SQP can discuss suitable treatment options with you.
Management for preventing worms
Supplement Solutions worming program is a beneficial programme to help you manage parasite control with your horse. Our in house SQP will tailor your plan to your horse. We recommend the plan which includes testing as this is the best way to help prevent resistance. However, we do offer a treatment only plan if needed.
Environmental management is vital to help prevent parasites. By adopting good husbandry methods you can effectively reduce exposure to parasites and help prevent re-infection. To reduce the levels of infective larvae you can:
- Avoid keeping large numbers of horses on a small area of grazing.
- Rotate pasture to allow for it to "rest"
- Separate horses with high faecal egg counts
- Poo pick regularly to remove droppings
- Graze mixed species together if possible as parasites cannot survive in other species e.g. Sheep
What's included in Supplement Solutions' Annual Worming Programme?
Supplement Solutions' Annual Worming Programme is a strategic worming programme including all necessary worm counts/tests and appropriate wormers for the entire year for your horse:
Any wormers needed following testing are free of charge.
You will also receive a free of charge Protexin Quick Fix with your first wormer PLUS a Welcome pack including worming record, weigh tape, a Supplement Solutions gift and other goodies for an all inclusive price paid once a year.
Multi-horse discount is applied if you join more than one horse, yards with 25 horses or more please feel free to email us and we can make a programme to suit your individual requirements!
We do offer a plan without tapeworm testing which includes an Encysted Small Redworm Treatment in Winter, 2 x Tapeworm Treatments (1 in Spring & 1 in Autumn), plus 1 x Westgate Labs Worm Count Kit (Faecal Egg Count) in Summer - Any wormers needed following testing are free of charge. To find out more click here.
Wormers are controlled by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, they can only be sold by a licensed retailer and prescribed by an SQP.
To find out more about our accreditation from the VMD click here.