A British lab is offering a free advice service to help horse owners navigate the murky world of parasites.
Postal worm count specialists and independent laboratory Westgate Labs are offering 30 minute consultations for yard managers and 15 minute slots for horse owners. The consultations will cover the age range and health status of each of the equines and take into account the way the horses are kept, pasture maintenance and the relative risks of parasite infection.
Westgate promotes targeted worming practices centred on best practice veterinary approved advice. Its staff will help to design a tailor-made programme for yards, incorporating strategic testing and treatments to protect against endemic disease caused by parasite infection as well as checking and managing the growing problem of drug resistance.
Westgate Laboratories consultant veterinarian Carolyn Cummins said that working as a first-opinion equine vet she see many horses suffering from severe worm burdens. “In some this is due to neglect or other underlying illnesses but more often they are horses whose owners believe that they are worming appropriately and have measures in place to prevent worm-related disease.
“Problems arise from worming at the wrong times of year, not using the appropriate wormer, under-dosing, or overuse of a particular wormer leading to resistance so that the drugs we have are no longer effective against the parasites that are a threat to horse health,” Cummins said.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation and contradictory advice out there which can lead to confusion for those with the responsibility of implementing effective parasite control programmes. If you have any uncertainty about worming then this promises to be time well spent.”
Sessions are limited, bookable up to two weeks in advance and allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
Bookings can be made here.