Ever wondered if weather affects your horse's worming schedule? Here's vet Lucinda Ticehurst to explain more.
Q: Last winter was quite wet and mild. If this year is the same, do I need to do anything different in regards to my horse's worming?
A: Regardless of the weather, it's important to do regular faecal worm egg counts alongside a saliva or blood test for tapeworm to monitor internal parasite burdens and help with worming.
Currently, worm resistance to wormers is causing more long-term problems than any climate change.
This is due to over-worming, under-dosing and inappropriate use of active ingredients. The mild weather could mean a greater worm burden and owners need to be aware of possible complications and act to avoid them.
Part of most worm life cycles is completed out of the horse's body and this is when the worms would normally be vulnerable to extremes in temperature, but also when they can thrive in the right conditions.
A vet should always be consulted regarding worming protocol for the yard and the individual. If you manage your pasture effectively and there's testing and worming in place, there should be minimal consequences related to the warmer weather.
It's important that warmer weather doesn't encourage indiscriminate worming, but it should highlight the significance of having suitable protocols in place regarding worm management.