TARGETED WORMING I am advising all clients to change to a targeted worming programme – briefly this involves carrying out regular worm egg counts and only worming your horse if a high count is found. In addition your horse will need a winter dose for encysted redworms, tapeworms and bots. (None of these can be detected on a worm egg count.) These are all covered with a single dose of Equest pramox There are 3 main benefits from making this change:- For your horse – drugs are only given when necessary. For your pocket – there will almost certainly be a cost saving. For horses everywhere – a slow down in the development of resistance to wormers. I have made everything as simple as possible for you – all you need to do is collect a sample as directed and post it to Westgate Laboratories in the prepaid envelope. The results will be reported to me and I will then contact you. Invoices for the worm egg count, and wormer if required, will be issued at this point. If anybody else on your yard wants to change to the same programme please contact me for extra collection kits. The attached notes will give you more information about targeted worming.
TARGETED WORMING PROGRAMME A targeted worming program is now followed by the majority of the practice clients. In the past I have advised worming regimes based on fixed interval dosing for all horses. We now realize that 80% of the worm population is carried in 20% of the horses in any given group, so a lot of horses were getting unnecessary doses of wormer. In addition we are increasingly worried about the development of resistance to worming drugs, as a result of incorrect dosing and over- use. There are only a limited number of drugs available with no new compounds in the pipeline. Resistance is already widespread to all the older drugs, so it is vital we try and stop it developing to the newer ones (Ivermectin and Moxidectin.) Basically targeted worming involves regular worm egg counts and only worming those horses that have a high count. Although this is a good starting point there are some problems with this approach:- 1) EGG COUNTS measure the number of eggs produced by ADULT round-worms in the horse’s gut. The round-worms that cause the most harmful effects are the CYATHOSTOMINS. The life cycle of these worms includes a dormant phase when the worm larvae are encysted in the wall of the large gut. Obviously these are immature worms so they will not be laying any eggs. A horse can therefore be carrying a large Cyathostomin burden but still have a negative count. There are only 2 drugs that will kill these encysted worms – Moxidectin (Equest) and Fenbendazole 5 day course (Panacur Guard) One of these products should routinely be given in the winter to all horses, regardless of previous worm counts. 2) TAPEWORM eggs are not reliably measured in a worm count. There are only 2 drugs that will kill tapeworms – Praziquantal (Equitape) or Pyrantel double dose (Strongid P.) One of these products should routinely be given in the winter to all horses. We now advise that a single annual dose is sufficient to control tapeworms, unless a horse has had previous problems e.g. with unexplained colics. 3) BOTS are not detected in a worm count. If Moxidectin (Equest) is used for the winter dosing it will deal with these parasites as well as the encysted Cyathostomins. CURRENT PROGRAMME SPRING AND SUMMER – Worm counts from all horses, only those with counts >200epg will subsequently be given wormer. WINTER – All horses wormed with Equest Pramox (= Equest + Equitape) to control encysted cyathostomins, bots and tapeworms.
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