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Available Tests for Tapeworm

With the increasing prevalence of worm resistance to worming treatments it is highly recommended that you perform a faecal worm egg count prior to worming your horse.

Unfortunately a faecal worm egg count is not a reliable test to see if your horse has tapeworms or not. Currently there are two methods available to horse owners in order to determine their horse’s exposure to them. Both test the level of antibodies in your horse, the higher the level the higher the likelihood that your horse may need an anti-tapeworm treatment. This would be dependent on your horse’s previous worm treatment as both tests are more accurate if your horse has not had an anti-tapeworm treatment in the last 4 months.

One test is an Equisal salvia test which costs £17.95 plus post and packing. We can either send you one in the post or they can be purchased directly from the Equisal website – www.equisal.co.uk. This is an easy test that you can perform at home. It requires a swab from the inside of your horse’s mouth (full instructions are provided with the kit) which is then sent to the lab in a postage-paid envelope. Typically results are given within four working days of the lab receiving the test. Some considerations to bear in mind when using this test; as mentioned above ideally your horse should not have had an anti-tapeworm treatment within the last 4 months. Also your horse should not have food, water or exercise for at least 30 minutes prior to the test being performed.

The other test available is a blood test. The blood is sent to an external lab for testing which costs approximately £30 (please remember that you will also need to have a vet visit to take the blood sample or it can be done on your next routine visit or here at the clinic). Typically we will receive the results back here at the clinic in 1 – 5 working days whereupon your vet will phone you with the result and advice on any further course of action.

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