an increase in the numbers of ticks which we are finding on our horses, pets and even ourselves with alarming regularity. These tiny blood sucking parasites live in grassland and latch into the skin of their host to feed. Tick bites can cause localised skin irritations and also have the ability to transmit serious diseases such as Lymes. Swift removal is important

to reduce the risk of pathology and ensuring they are taken off in one piece will also help to prevent infection developing in the wound. We recommend the O’Tom Tick Twister tool for this. As ever the Westgate team


very season brings its problems and even though we look forward to the long

light days, summer is no exception. While the battle to control flies is a visible daily trial it’s important to remember other parasites too such as intestinal worms, pinworm, bots and ticks that might affect the health of our horses.


COUNT TIME Regular worm egg counts should form the basis of your programme. For healthy adult horses that means sending in a faecal sample to be tested at three monthly intervals. For youngsters, rescued horses or those with a history of worm problems or high counts, the gap should be shorter; six to eight weeks as they are so more susceptible to infection. Its common sense to keep an eye on things before a problem is allowed to develop. No one should be blindly dosing

all through the year. Our worming drugs are far too precious to be wasted in this way and will not stay effective for the future if over used. Research shows worm counts can reduce wormer use by up to 82% (Lester 2013).


We are often misled into thinking only of spring and autumn being ‘tapeworm time’. This traditional pattern was a convenient way

to include tapeworm doses in old fashioned rotational drug programmes but there is no other advantage to sticking to this. If you are one of the many who treat for encysted redworm and monitor for tapeworm in the winter, the summer is an ideal interval to use the Equisal saliva test again as takes approximately five to six months for the tapeworm to complete its lifecycle.


REMINDER. There seems to be an emerging problem with roundworm (ascarid) burdens in young horses that have only ever been wormed with modern ‘mectin’ wormers, not always the drugs of choice for treating roundworm as there is some resistance. It would be wise to make sure that all youngsters are given a specific dose of either pyrantel or fenbendazole in their first year, targeting ascarids. Once dealt with this problem is unlikely to reoccur as they are rarely seen in older animals.

BOT FLIES. With summer flies comes the

potential for bots which lay tiny yellow eggs on the horse’s coat; try to remove these with a bot knife if you can. Horses will find them irritating and in licking will ingest larvae that live for weeks between the teeth prior to passing into the stomach to over winter. Once there it is thought they cause few problems unless present in large numbers. A dose of ivermectin or moxidectin late in the

Worm egg counts

Test every 3months to targetyour horse’s redand roundworm control.£9.95* per test.

*£2 P&P per order passionate about good parasite control for your horse or pony

contact us

01670 791994 |

EquiSal tapeworm test

Test every 6months to revolutionise your tapeworm treatment. £17.95* per horse.

Pinworm test

Itchy horse? Rule out pesky pinworm with an adhesivetape test £7.50* per horse.

year is the way to target them but prevention is better than a cure.

TICKS OFF! Our changing climate is influencing

are here to offer a trusted testing service plus any advice you need too including free telephone consultations for yard managers and horse owners. See www.westgatelabs. for more information.

Westgate Laboratories POSTAL WORM COUNTS &TESTS

•Easy, reliable service forparasitecontrol, discounts formultiple horses, commercial rate foryards of +10 horses.

•Same daytesting and results

•FREE,tailored veterinary approvedadvice from our friendlySQPs



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