The topic of wormer resistance has been making a splash in the headlines recently. Horse & Hound ran a news story, May 11th 2017, stressing the importance of diagnostic testing to ensure effective and sustainable parasite control.
Wherever possible pasture management techniques should be employed to help break the lifecycle of worms mechanically, by poo picking, cross grazing and resting paddocks, rather than relying on chemical intervention. New window.
This article was prompted by research from Professor Martin Nielsen of Gluck Equine Research Centre at the University of Kentucky, published in the April 2017 edition of Equine Disease Quarterly, that suggested parasite resistance to at least one drug class is likely to be present in equines across the world.
While wormer resistance is not a new problem – it was first recorded in sheep in the early 1980’s - we are certainly feeling the impact of its effects ever more keenly and this will only increase if horse owners and carers choose not heed the warnings about the sustainable use of drugs.
This means using evidence based parasite control programs, only giving a wormer when the tests indicate and for specific seasonal problems like encysted small redworm, bots etc.
Wherever possible pasture management techniques should be employed to help break the lifecycle of worms mechanically, by poo picking, cross grazing and resting paddocks, rather than relying on chemical intervention.
But what exactly is wormer resistance?
To raise awareness we have produced a short video to explain how resistance develops and what steps horse owners can take to combat it. For the sake of our horses’ health please can I encourage you to share the link and embed this in your website pages where you wish?
The more we can do to raise the awareness of this dire threat the better for the long term health of our horses and the land we keep them on
Read our top ten ways to beat resistance: http://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/news/westgates-top-10-ways-to-slow-wormer-resistance
Carolyn Cummins MVB Phd MRCVS, consultant vet to Westgate Labs, comments on why getting parasite control right is so important:
“Working as a first opinion equine vet I see horses every year that are suffering from a severe worm burden. This can be due to neglect or other underlying illnesses but more worryingly, in others, these are horses with owners who believe that they are worming their horses appropriately.
“Problems arise from worming at the wrong times of year, not using the appropriate wormer, under-dosing, or overuse of a particular wormer leading to resistance so that the drugs we have are no longer effective.
“A horse suffering with a severe worm burden can go from an apparently healthy horse to a severely ill one in a very short space of time, hence the importance of a regular testing regime.”
About the author
The news team at EquiMed is dedicated to keeping the horse community informed about the latest developments related to horse health and the horse industry from a community, state, national and global and political perspective.
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