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This is now commonplace, resistance to anthelmintics is with us. It is not too late for veterinary surgeons, horse owners, educators and pharmaceutical companies to take responsibility for this issue and safeguard the health of our horses.
Many of the activities that have been commonplace may contribute to anthelmintic resistance; poor pasture management, underdosing, repetitive unnecessary interval dosing with various different anthelmintics.
The interval dosing programme that was originally advised 40 years ago increases the chances of anthelmintic resistance, thus increasing the numbers of eggs shed onto pasture despite dosing with wormers.
The majority of wormers will only kill the adult stages of the worm and not the larval stages that are responsible for clinical disease.
Horses are very variable in their susceptibility to parasite infection resulting in extreme differences in parasite burdens among horses.
The main parasitic pathogens affecting mature horses now are the cyathostomin (small strongyle) and the tapeworm.
We can all take several steps to help reduce the worm population and therefore improve our horse’s health.
What can we do?
If you recognise that worming your horse does not appear to be giving the results expected then it is wise to check that the worm egg count is still high and that there are no other reasons for the signs that you are seeing.
If there appears to be a resistance problem contact your vet or retailer to discuss the recent wormer history and get advice on what wormers appear to be working best in your situation and area.
Wormer resistance varies between horse, yard and area of the country and advice as to what strategy to use must be tailored to your horses’ specific requirements.
Blindly worming with several different wormers will only increase the resistance in the local worm population.
The inclusion of refuge horses that have a population of worms that are not exposed to wormers is important.
Bourton Vale hosted a client evening at the Adlestrop Village Hall on Wednesday 1st Novewmber. The evening was kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingleheim and was a huge success; allowing attendees to meet the new members of our team and have an introduction to a variety of topics.