New research advises paying special attention to worming youngsters

Pay special attention to worming young horses

Zoetis Inc, the largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock insist that good worm control is essential to produce healthy youngsters after new research conducted on parasites was released today.

Foals and yearlings are usually more susceptible to worms than adults because they've had little chance to develop tolerance.

The main parasitic culprits in the UK for foals less than six months of age are large roundworms.

In older foals and weanlings, small and large redworms, tapeworms (and pinworms) are the more common.

Yearlings may also have a second wave of large roundworm infection at 8-10 months of age.

Controlling worms in your horse means taking into account the individual circumstances such as pasture management and previous disease history.

Dr Wendy Talbot, vet at Zoetis has some suggestions to help guide you.

  • Discuss your worm control plan with your vet or SQP who will be able to devise the best strategy.
  • Clean pasture is key to keeping foals and youngstock healthy. Removing droppings is crucial to a successful worm control plan.
  • Older foals are primarily at risk of strongyle infection.
  • Worm egg counts are likely to be higher in yearlings compared to adults. Treatment of encysted small redworm is advised for all youngsters in late autumn.
  • Faecal worm egg counts are advisable in late winter/start of spring. These horses may require treating again for encysted small redworm, particularly after a mild winter.
  • New arrivals should be dosed with a wormer effective against all stages of small redworm, roundworm, tapeworm and bots and then quarantined for three days.