There are NO new anthelmintics (wormers) in development and there is resistance to all those available to us.
Now more than ever we need to confirm what we need to treat before doing so, and consider which wormer to use. Worm egg counts (WECs) are the mainstay of this procedure. Tapeworm saliva test kits have been available for a few years that owners can do themselves. We now have a blood sample that can test for encysted small redworm available, with a saliva test also being developed. This means that with appropriate testing we have the ability to test for all equine worms and treat as needed.
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration alongside test results such as stocking density, age of the individual, weather conditions and pasture management. Choosing what tests to use and when is a major consideration and one where it is important to have a good dialogue with your own vet.
Even collecting samples needs consideration…boring but true! Distribution of worm eggs between piles is similar but distribution within a pile is variable. Taking small samples from different areas of the freshest pile available is a sad but true requirement to gain the most representative WEC result.
At Station House Vets we pride ourselves in providing up to date and individualised advice to help protect your beloved horse for the future. Reducing anthelmintic use also helps protect the world we live in by reducing chemical exposure experienced by soil living species.