Strategic Worming Package (SWP)
A well planned, strategic worm strategy is crucial to your horse’s preventative healthcare. High worm burdens can expose your horse to a range of illnesses resulting in weight loss, poor condition, diarrhoea and in some cases, colic. There are no new classes of wormer under development, and many people stick to the traditional approach of treating horses every three months. This creates ‘resistance” to wormers.
At Kent Equine Hospital we believe it is essential to only use wormers where testing has proved the need. Our strategic worm package uses regular faecal egg count testing, faecal egg count reduction testing, tapeworm and encysted redworm testing to create a unique plan that is individual to your horses’ needs.
Why is regular worm egg count testing beneficial to your horse’s preventative health plan and how can our Strategic Worm Package create the best solution for them?
A high worm burden can cause poor performance, weight loss, diarrhoea and colic.
80% of worms live in 20% of horses. On average, for every 5 horses grazing, only 1 will require treatment. These are often young horses (under the age of 4) or older horses.
Strategic worming will save you money.
Studies have shown 4 out of every 5 wormers are given unnecessarily, reducing effectiveness when needed.
Kent Equine Hospital Strategic Worm Package (SWP)
Our Strategic Worm Package has been designed to help you manage your horse’s preventative healthcare. This is included if you are a member of our Equine Health Club. Our recommendation is that three faecal worm egg counts (WECs) are carried out per year, at even intervals (March, June and September). This will help to assess your horse’s worm burden and will allow us to support you in creating a treatment plan if necessary, based on results. Wormers will not be dispensed without testing results to prove need.
If results are 250 eggs per gram (epg)or less, there is no need to worm your horse, and you should test again in three months’ time. Should results be higher, we will advise on the best products to use, based on your horse’s individual needs and what active ingredients/drug will work best for them.
How does the SWP work?
It couldn’t be easier, we have created a step by step guide below:
Step One – Head over to our website to sign up for the package or join our Equine Health Plan Club. Once you have completed the registration form you will be provided with an annual worm pack which will include everything you need to carry out 3 WECs (March, June, September and 1 faecal egg count reduction test/FECRT if needed ).
Step Two – Prior to the start of each testing month, you will be sent an email reminder that your sample is due, with a date this is to be completed by. This will also be advertised on our social media platforms.
Step Three – It’s poo picking time! Collect a poo sample (around the size of a golf ball) from three different areas in a pile of fresh faeces. Simply invert the glove and double bag it in a Ziplock/sandwich bag making sure to expel any air.
Step Four – Make sure your details are provided on a sticker, on the outside of the bag.
Step Five – Place your sample in the freepost envelope provided and return it to us immediately. Please make sure that your sample is fresh and posted immediately or kept in a fridge or cool, dry place prior to posting. You can also bring the sample into the hospital.
Step Six – Our nursing team will perform a WEC and will email or call you within 72 hours of receiving the sample with your results. If the test result shows your horse requires treatment, a vet will advise you on the most suitable wormer. You can collect your medication from the hospital or receive it via post.
Step Seven – Once a year, if your horse has a positive WEC result, you should perform a FECRT 2 weeks after worming to check for resistance.
We will email you reminders to send in your faecal sample in March, June and September. Any horse with 3 low WECs throughout the year will be emailed to remind you to book in a redworm blood test. This will be performed on a zone visit. You will also receive a tapeworm saliva test annually, also performed at a zone visit.
Please note – all horses under the age of 4 need worming regularly (even with low WEC) as younger animals are more prone to infection and can become sick more quickly. These younger horses are therefore not suitable for the package. To discuss worming of foals and young stock, please call and speak to one of our veterinary team.
The package will be charged at £99 per horse per year which will include:
3 WEC test kits
1FECRT (Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test - If Required)
1 November redworm and tapeworm saliva test (visit charged separately)
Please make a note to contact us in November to book your visit for a redworm blood sample (only required if all 3 WECs <250epg)
Expert advice from our lab team and vets at any time.
What about young horses/foals?
All horses under the age of 4 require more frequent worming as they are more susceptible to infection. Please speak to one of our team for more advice about worming youngstock.
Tips to reduce your horse's worm exposure/burden
‘Poo pick’ at least twice a week and ideally every day if you can
Avoid overstocking and overgrazing
Rotate fields where possible – ideally rotate with sheep/cattle
Immediately worm any new horses and keep them stabled for 48 hours to prevent worms being shed in fields.
Try to keep young horses separate from older ones. Young horses often have the highest worm burden and as a result require worming more regularly.