Tag Archives: horse worming

Encysted Small Redworm Worming Reminder!

Don’t forget now is the time to treat your horse for Encysted Small Redworm (ESRW) if you haven’t done so already this Winter. ESRW are the early stages of the small redworm enveloped within a fibrous capsule in the mucosa of the large intestine.

encysted-small-redworm_zoetis-320x214

Courtesy of Zoetis

There isn’t a definitive test for ESRW and a negative or low faecal worm egg count doesn’t rule out the presence of encysted stages if egg laying adults aren’t present. Mass emergence of encysted larvae, often coinciding with warmer weather in early spring, may cause a condition known as larval cyathostominosis. This can cause diarrhoea and colic.

Every horse should receive an annual treatment to combat ESRW, ideally during November/December and definitely before spring arrives.
Moxidectin is the only licensed ingredient for single-dose control of ESRW and is contained in two products – Equest and Equest Pramox. Please contact Milbourn Equine for more information and advice on worming your horse.

We also offer an Equine Healthcare Plan at Milbourn Equine which includes membership to our annual worming programme. This helps create an individually tailored worming programme for your horse, based on worm egg counts as well as offering discounts on worming products.

Caring For Older Horses

More and more horses and ponies are living for longer and becoming geriatrics (defined as aged 20 years and over). As a horse ages it is important to monitor for certain health problems which are commonly seen in an ageing population.

Dental problems– These are common and may manifest as difficulty with the bit, reduced appetite, weight loss or headshaking. Six monthly dental checks are recommended for horses over 15 years old. Milbourn Equine can check teeth as part of the health check at your horse’s annual vaccination and we are happy to perform any dental work required.

Lameness – Low grade lameness is to be expected as osteoarthritis sets in; this is often put down to ‘stiffness’. Most of these conditions can be improved with treatment after the lameness is localised to a particular joint or area.

PPID/Cushings – Older horses (especially ponies) commonly develop PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction) also known as Equine Cushing’s disease. The clinical signs include a curly coat, recurrent laminitis, a ‘pot bellied’ appearance, lethargy and recurrent infections. This condition is treatable once it has been definitively diagnosed with a blood test. More information can be found at www.talkaboutlaminitis.co.uk.

Condition– Many older horses struggle to maintain their condition, especially over the winter months. If weight loss is sudden or dramatic we will investigate to rule out concurrent disease. However often a change in diet is all that is necessary. Horses become less efficient at extracting nutrients from their feed as they age. It is important to maintain fibre content even if the horse is struggling to eat hay or haylage. A hay replacement diet can be created with chaff, sugar beet and soaked pony nuts. We can advise you or put you in touch with nutritionist if you feel your horse would benefit from a dietary change.
Older horses and ponies struggle more with extremes of weather than their younger friends. However they generally benefit from the low grade exercise that turnout provides and would stiffen up if kept indoors for long periods. Therefore we recommend that they remain turned out but with the benefit of good rugs and a field shelter, in all but the most extreme weather conditions.

This time of year you should also be on the lookout for Mud Fever and Colic in horses of any age.

Mud Fever– Is a condition of the skin on the lower legs which typically occurs during wet weather in horses who are turned out. It is a bacterial infection caused by a particular bacteria called Dermatophilus which live within the mud. As with many things, prevention is better than cure! Removing mud from the horse’s legs is important. The best way to remove mud is to allow the legs to dry and then to brush the mud away with a dandy brush. An oil based barrier cream such as Vaseline can be applied to legs before turn out. Checking your horse’s legs on a daily basis can allow you to intervene and instigate treatment of mud fever at the first sign.

Colic-At this time of year colic signs are common, especially when there is snow on the ground and the horses are suddenly exposed to a dramatic change in management. Prevention is not always possible however trying to keep the horses management similar regardless of weather conditions helps. Making a gradual change to hay or haylage in the autumn and maintaining the horse on the same brand or batch of long stem forage is helpful.  If snow curtails your exercise plans be sure to reduce the hard food that you are providing to the horse, continuing on high levels of hard feed when the horse is doing no exercise will often lead to tying up.
Don’t forget Worming! – Every horse should receive a larvicidal dose of roundwormer such as moxidectin in the late autumn/early winter. Most other wormers will not kill encysted roundworms and therefore the horse can colic as a result of encysted larvae despite having received a wormer. Please contact us for advice. Our Equine Healthcare Plan includes our worming programme as standard.

Make sure your horse is in tip top condition this winter. Winter Healthchecks – Only £97.50 inc VAT

Worming

It is the time of year when all horses should be wormed against encysted red worms, regardless of what worming programme they are on.

Horse worms

Picture courtesy of Horse and Hound

Results from this year’s National Equine Health Survey have shown that many owners are not aware of how to worm their horses effectively against encysted red worms – which are an important parasite that can cause serious illness.
Once the weather gets colder, the larval stages of this worm bury themselves in the lining of the horse’s colon. This can cause significant disease in the Spring, as once the weather warms up the worms emerge en masse. This frequently results in colic and diarrhoea; in many cases this can be fatal.

Horse worming

Picture courtesy of Horse and Hound

To prevent this, horses need to be wormed in late autumn to early winter with a wormer effective against encysted red worms. The two drugs that are effective are Moxidectin (Equest), or a five day course of Fenbendazole (Panacur Equine Guard). We recommend that horses are wormed with one of these products after the first hard frost.

Panacur
Because there are few drugs effective against this important worm species, it is important to use these drugs carefully in order to prevent worms becoming resistant to them. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that Equest is only used at this time of year, unless recommended in special circumstances.
These worming products are all effective against encysted red worm.

More information is available on our recommended worming programme.