This past month we have been busy in our in-practice laboratory completing lots of faecal worm egg counts (FWEC), which we have then been reporting to our clients with appropriate worming advice. As we begin to progress through autumn and the winter approaches, we would like to share our current worming advice as well as update you all on some new tests that are available!
We currently recommend that you complete a FWEC prior to worming your horse, which can detect adult worms in your horse’s sample. Completing a FWEC has many benefits including reducing resistance to worming products, as it targets only those horses which have a high worm burden. This can also help to reduce costs of using multiple worming products throughout the year. We advise that you carry out a FWEC on all horses every 3 months, and from the results of these we can then provide a tailor made plan to each individual horse.
When using a worming product, it is important that you dose your horse according to an accurate weight, which you can do by using a weight tape or, even better, by bringing your horse into the clinic and using our weigh bridge for free!
We also offer tapeworm saliva tests, which measure the antibodies to tapeworm in your horse's saliva and give an indication to whether worming for tapeworm is needed or not. Testing is cost effective as we only treat the horses that need it, reducing the development of resistant worms and unnecessary treatments, as well as being environmentally friendly.
We can now provide a new blood test for encysted red worms, which again can reduce the need to use a worming product as well as provide a useful diagnostic tool in potential clinical cases. We would advise that this test is carried out between September and December to indicate whether worming for encysted red worms is required.