How can I tell if my horse is a bit wormy?? Or a lot wormy??
Well, to answer this, I teamed up with Dr. Mark Silverman of Sporthorse Veterinary Services in San Diego, CA. Dr. Silverman is a bottomless pit of knowledge, and generously shares with us his wisdom so that Grooms and all other horse lovers can learn. He has also been a very supportive friend to Pro Equine Grooms, and for that we thank him.
As Grooms, we are responsible for the day to day health management of our horses. We are also responsible for noticing the long term changes of our horses, and being able to communicate with the Team what's going on. Often, these signs and changes can mean many different things, so talk with your Veterinarian if you notice anything. Go from there!
If your horse is battling some worms, of which there are many varieties, you may see some of these signs:
-Failure to thrive
-No bloom in the coat
-Rubbing the tail (This can be indicative of pinworms)
Most barns have a worming program that has been developed with a Veterinarian. This program will vary according to region, as freezes influence the worm life cycle. So, what works for me likely will be different for you.
Some barns and trainers also use the Panacur "power pack", which is five days of double dose, heavy duty wormer. This is most commonly done if a horse is imported, newly purchased, or has an unknown Veterinary background.
Other barns and trainers also may want to do a fecal test to fine tune or adjust their worming program. Keep in mind, there are many different types of fecal tests (some done by a lab, some you can buy). Each type of test may also not catch everything, this often depends on the test performed and the life cycle stage of worm.
The bottom line is that as Grooms, we should be knowledgeable about what to look for when we manage our horses, and also be aware of the suggested worming schedule for your region. Work with you Employer and Veterinarian to stay on top of worms.
What works for you?
ps- Please visit our friends Sporthorse Veterinary Services on their Facebook page!! Lots of great updates and articles there.