WORM COUNTS FOR HORSES

Announcement

Due to a house move, I won't be available via the internet for a few months. Please keep an eye on the website for updates

For any current clients who have paid for advance packs, I will still process your samples and will still be available for help and advice.

Thank you

The Science Explained

Introduction

Science!  What does that mean to most people?  These days because of popular, television programs about how scientific methods are used to solve crime, the image conjured up is a little more favourable than it used to be.  Scientific methods are used to investigate anything from car accidents to illnesses.  There are scientists and veterinarians all around the world who investigate horse illnesses.  A major cause of illness in horses is that of worm infestations.

A ‘wormy’ horse is likely to be in poor condition, the horse loses weight, his coat no longer gleams, often scouring occurs and eventually, without treatment the animal dies.  In the most serious cases, due to a specific type of worm, even if the horse is treated when illness begins, the horse does not recover and is lost.

It is therefore for good reason that horses are dosed with an anthelminthic (wormer) on a regular basis.  The concern now amongst veterinarians and the scientists that study worms – parasitologists, is that worms are becoming resistant to the chemicals we use to kill and remove them from inside our horses.

Worms becoming resistant to chemicals can be compared to the problems seen with bacterial infections.  Most of us have heard about MRSA; this is a type of bacteria that sometimes infects people after an operation.  MRSA is in the news when someone is infected because it is difficult to treat, ordinary medicines will not cure the infection.

If worms continue to show signs of resisting the chemicals we use to get rid of them, horses will die more often of worm infestations.  The pharmaceutical companies, which produce the chemicals, have indicated that it will take at least another 10 years before new compounds will be designed.  There is no guarantee that they will be able to develop new chemicals to use in horses, at all.

The situation is therefore quite serious and the health of future generations of horses is in the balance.  There are steps we can all take to help the situation worldwide and protect horses.   P.E.T.S science pages here are intended to inform and help horse owners to decide the best methods they can use to protect their own animals and future generations of Equines.