Wednesday, 10 March 2010


...was another topic at the National Equine Forum last week. Like Prof Pat Harris' talk on gastric ulcers, it was short and to the point, but highlighted some very useful new information.

The talk was given by Chris Proudman, one of the vets at Liverpool's equine centre. Resistance to wormers has been a growing problem in other species, particularly sheep, for a while, but it was good to hear the veterinary profession being pro-active about trying to counter about resistance in horses.

The problem with just routinely dosing horses for worms every x weeks is two-fold: firstly, you are much more likely to create worms which are resistant to wormers, over time; secondly, you are dosing horses with a fairly potent amount of chemicals without knowing whether they need it or not - and in many cases those chemicals will affect their hooves as well.

Here's a fascinating fact courtesy of Chris Proudman's talk: 80% of the worm burden is found in 20% of the horses.

That was a lightbulb moment for me, because at Rockley we use FECs instead of worming willy-nilly, and we find that some horses always have a low count, some always have a moderate count, despite being managed in the same way on the same farm.

So why would you worm all the horses on a yard, when only a percentage of them actually need worming?

There is a whole other question about why some horses are more prone to a worm burden than others, but there is no doubt that worms can cause catastrophic damage, so we can't just ignore them. For those who are interested in being a bit more strategic about worming, there is masses more information at the University of Liverpool website:


cptrayes said...

Campero actually ties up when he is wormed. Nikki rode him out after worming him and had to dismount and lead him home. :-((

Gill said...

Chris Proudman gives a great talk. I just wish everyone would listen!