Ask Questions - Please feel free to ask worming and testing questions and an E-SQP will get back to you.





Wednesday, 22 June 2016

wormers-direct.co.uk knowledge base
Anthelmintic resistance in horses
Anthelmintic resistance in horses has been reported since the 1970’s, mainly to the benzimidazole group of drugs. This has led to less use of that drug group which naturally has meant more use of ivermectin based products and more recently Moxedectin based products. The other main group (Pyrantel) is traditionally used for both routine worming but more so for tapeworm treatment and then at twice the double dose. The resistance we have seen in recent years is when treating for Roundworms (nematodes).  It is thought that genes for pyrantel/ivermectin resistance are naturally rare in nematodes of equines and therefore resistance should be slow to develop. However, the advent of drugs that do kill the encysted stages (such as moxidectin) is decreasing the worms in “refugia” and thus potentially increasing the likelihood of resistance and how soon that resistance may arrive in the UK horse population  As there are no current plans for introducing new classes of anthelmintic (worming) products we have  to be vigilant in the correct use of the existing products on the market and to adopt animal health plans that take all circumstances into account including the use of faecal egg counts and strategic worming.
At the agricultural level work is being done to limit the resistance issue in sheep and cattle and it is from these species that we can learn how resistance develops and how to avoid the situation becoming so significant in the equine population.  A new approach is required to ensure that with regard to treatment of our horse’s products remain efficacious to thereby avoiding compromising equine welfare.
So what can we do to avoid resistance developing?
Appropriately timed treatments:  Use the advised dosage intervals and note that these intervals differ between active ingredients
Pasture Management: Minimize pasture contamination by picking up droppings, graze with other species such as sheep or cattle, treat new horses on arrival and quarantine them. Harrow pastures when conditions allow such as during spells of hot dry weather.
Correct Dosing: It is vital to dose at the correct rate for the weight of your horse the best method is on a weigh bridge but failing that use of industry leading weigh tape or weight estimation formulas are of value. Under dosing is one of the main reasons for the development of resistance and remember we all lie about our weight so if you do estimate the weight think about adding an extra 10% on top of your estimation. If you administer a sub therapeutic level of the drug and thereby expose the worms to the drug, but perhaps not at a sufficient dosage to kill them. Worms that survive treatment may pass on their “immunity” to subsequent generations and those generations will become more adept at surviving chemical treatments with the potential for resistance to develop to that drug.
Use faecal worm egg counts: Monitor the parasite burden through the warmer months by testing and when you get the results consult an expert on how to read the results and how to decide on a strategy. Most of the worms live within a few susceptible animals so try to identify those animals by a risk assessment of the burden in each horse. This approach can then lead to targeted worming and treating only those animals that actually have a parasite burden. Also consider testing for tapeworm with a saliva antibody test.
Consider testing for tapeworm by using saliva samples: This test identifies horses with a low burden, a borderline result or a moderate/high burden, and treatment is recommended for any borderline or moderate/high results. In scientific terms the Tapeworm Test has both high sensitivity and specificity, which is important for correctly identifying horses with tapeworm burdens.
Rotate the active ingredients: The jury is out on this one but there is a consensus that rotation has a role to play on basis of rotating the selected products in the grazing season only or perhaps a 1 or 2 year scheme but changing active ingredient each time you worm could well have the opposite effect and increase resistance as each different generation of parasite get exposed to different drug classes
Selecting ingredients that actually work: When you do decide to use a wormer use one that is known to be effective against the particular parasite you are targeting.  If you are using products where resistance is suspected check on the efficacy by using a Faecal egg count reduction (FECR)
Select the right ingredient for the target parasite: Although many different ingredients treat a broad spectrum of worms and parasites some treat for more specific burdens, some only treat for a single issue such as tapeworm and some treat parasites at different times in the life cycle. Try to understand the main threats and choose a product accordingly.
Understand the life cycle of the parasite: Different worms have different life cycles which is why we have different approaches with regard to when we actually treat for them rather than a blanket plan of treating at certain times of year. A seasonal approach is fine if these life cycles and previous treatments are factored into the equation. The worms are not in the host for very long as for most of the cycle they are as free living infective larvae on the pasture which is the reason for pasture management as part of the animal health plan.
Understand Refugia: Refugia could be described as those worms which are not exposed to a drug when treatment is carried out - either because they are on the pasture or because they are in horses that have not been treated The refugia provides a resource of drug susceptible parasites which in a way will dilute those parasites that have built up resistance to certain chemicals. These provide a dilution effect slowing the development of resistance in the worm population. By maintaining a group of parasites that are not exposed or have reduced exposure to an anthelmintic (worming chemical) horse pasture management will be improved.
Develop an Animal Health Plan: By recording all wormer treatments and egg counts as well as basic individual horse details such as age, weight etc. develop a plan to suit each individual horse.
When in doubt ask: Worming horses does not have to be complicated but the more we understand the better equipped we are to treat correctly. If your horse has any health problems then the first point of call is your Vet. Also in the UK we are lucky to have over 5000 SQPs who are specially trained and qualified to advise and prescribe anthelmintics (wormers). Many of those are specialists in the equine world and as such undergo continuous professional development in the field of parasitology. They are on hand instore and online to help with advice and hopefully explain why we need a new approach in the field (literately) 
SH Wetherald E-SQP








Friday, 11 March 2016


 SQPS at www.wormers-direct.co.uk


A reminder about Encysted small redworm in horses
March 2016
(originally posted Feb 2105)

Now with extensive use of targeted and strategic worming we need to be even more aware of the danger of mass eruption which often happens in early spring. This mass emergence can lead to a disease syndrome known as “Larval cyathostominosis” causing diarrhoea and colic with up to a 50% mortality rate1.

The increased use of FWEC (Faecal Worm Egg Counts) and how to interpret the results is adding to the need to understand the importance of treating for encysted small redworm. These inhibited encysted are the larval stages of the small redworm. 

Encysted small redworm (small strongles/cyathostomes) are the most common worms found in horses today and may account up to 90% of the redworm burden in the horse 2They are also the most pathogenically significant equine parasites 3, in fact many horses can be infected all of their lives 4.
Studies have shown that many horse owners are failing to worm with an effective product for the control of encysted small redworm, often assuming that the products they were using did treat for encysted small redworm when in fact they do not. Some owners simply do not treat at all. The most common reason for not treating for encysted small redworm was that the horse had had a clear faecal egg count.
Encysted small redworm don’t show up in a standard faecal worm egg count because the larval stages are dormant and buried within the gut wall, even if the horse has shown a negative or low count it could still be harbouring several million encysted small redworms 5a potential fatal health risk to the horse.

Encysted small redworm can remain dormant inside a horse for up to 2 years, but usually develop and emerge from the gut wall all at the same time in the early spring. It is most important to use a wormer containing moxidectin or a 5 day fenbendazole course licensed to treat encysted small redworm. It is important to remember that there is now widespread resistance to fenbendazole in parasite populations
4whereas moxidectin has been shown to be effective against benzimidazole resistant worms. Treating with products that do not specifically treat for encysted small redworm can increase the risk of larval cyathostominosis6.
So when you next need expert advice on an animal health plan that includes worming and testing your horse or make sure you enlist the help and advice of an SQP (Suitably Qualified Person)

 

SH Wetherald E-SQP
(with thanks to Zoetis for their input and guidance)
(originally posted Feb 2105) 

1        Dowdall S. et al (2002) Veterinary Parasitology 106, 225-242 
2          Bairden K. et al (2001) Veterinary Record 148, 138-141
         Love S. et al (1999) Veterinary Parasitology 85, 113-122
4          Matthews JB (2008) An update on cyathostomins: Anthelmintic resistance and worm control. Equine Vet. Education 20 552-560
5         Dowdall S. et al (2002) Veterinary Parasitology 106, 225-242
6        Craig R. Reinemeyer and Martin K. Nielsen. Handbook of Equine Parasite Control


Monday, 15 February 2016

FEI’s prohibited substances

DO YOU COMPETE YOUR HORSE?DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT!
As the competition season is fast approaching you need to know what changes have been made to the list of the FEI’s prohibited substances. 
If you are competing under FEI rules, the active compound in Devils Claw, Harpagoside, has now been moved on to the FEI controlled medication list for 2016. Riders and owners are being urged to check all their supplements properly so they don’t find themselves potentially using prohibited substances without even being aware. 
Vetrofen Healthy and Vetrofen Intense offer a safe (clear to use under FEI rules) and effective alternative to any Devils Claw products, as well as being amazing value.
VETROFEN INTENSE
Vetrofen Intense contains a completely natural antioxidant blend that targets both comfort and recovery in all horses. It has been scientifically formulated to help horses and ponies when they require support in dealing with intense activity, the natural ageing process and recovery after exercise. Vetrofen Intense supports the body’s inflammatory response to aid recovery to short term problems such as bruising, strains or injury as well as supporting function and flexibility in joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons, all of which can all detract from performance.
VETROFEN HEALTHY
Vetrofen Healthy is a new everyday value supplement which is designed to give everyday support and improved comfort and mobility in active or ageing horses. The supplement helps to provide additional antioxidant nutrients to support the body’s own inflammatory response mechanisms, as well as provide comfort and greater flexibility in joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.  The concentrated and varied antioxidant profile of Vetrofen Healthy works to promote overall wellbeing and quality of life for your horse, representing a unique and proven approach to managing comfort and recovery.

Both the products have been scientifically formulated to help, support and enhance your horse’s performance, whether at competitions or simply enjoyment at home.

SH Wetherald
E-SQP

Wednesday, 13 January 2016




Animalife’s Vetro Collection comes to

“Feel the Difference”

Vetrofen, Vetroflex and Vetrocalm
Available in the unique Lifestage formulations

Vetrofen is designed to support comfort and recovery
Vetroflex supports joint health and performance
Vetrocalm provides support for horses that suffer from stress, tension and behavioural issues

Call 0800 331 7758 and speak to one of the trained professionals in store about which product is best for your horse, or order online 


Free gift with every Animalife purchase*

(*While stocks last, item subject to change and T&Cs)

Friday, 13 November 2015

MUD FEVER EFFECTING HORSES

 Mud Fever Effecting Horses
Mud Fever is the enemy of horse owners in winter with wet cold conditions and the constant of wetting and drying of the horse’s skin, it’s not long with the infection takes control
What is Mud Fever?
Properly called pastern dermatitis, is not a single disease but can be seen in differing forms and refers to a whole range of skin reactions to a number of different irritants. Frequently called cracked heels or greasy heels, and is caused by an infectious agent called dermatophilus congolensis, which thrives in muddy wet conditions and can range from a mild skin irritation to very painful infected sores, and can in some cases cause significant swelling with severe lameness
Infection can stay dormant in the skin, by becoming active when the skin is compromised, usually by prolonged wetting.
Symptoms or signs to look for in mud fever
The condition affects the lower limb, most commonly the back of the pastern. It starts off as matted hair with dry scabby crusts, caused by the infection of inflamed skin
If the skin is injured in anyway or damaged by a cut, wound, bite, harness sore or through prolonged wetting — the balance between host and organism is disturbed. The organism enters the horse’s body through the broken skin, and multiplies in the damp, warm epidermal layers, starting an active infection causing the mud fever
Causes of mud fever
There are various factors as to what causes mud fever such as:
Prolonged damp, wet and then mild conditions
Standing deep in mud, water, soiled conditions
Some opinions are that actually constantly washing the mud off limbs/legs before and/or after work or after turn out to remove dirt without fully drying them afterwards
Even Skin trauma, from rubbing overreach boots or not properly fitted bandages can cause chaffing, such as sand from schools and irritate the skin
Generally unhealthy skin
Poor immune system, if the horse is unwell and the body cannot fight infection
Horses with white limbs (socks) are said to be more prone with the pink skin being more prone
Heat, redness, swelling of pain to limbs
Prevention or Cure?
Drying of the limbs thoroughly is vital to prevention and cure using clean towels, kitchen roll or dry material can be used to blot moisture
Avoid over washing of the limbs as this can irritate the moisture balance of the skin
Be vigilant as the sooner you spot the first signs of mud fever, the quicker you can take action and so prevent a lengthy, and costly, recovery
If you can limit or stop access to the muddy areas to prevent the horses stood in muddy, wet conditions such as fencing off those areas
You can apply barrier on the limbs to prevent water or moisture getting to the skin but when choosing barriers,  Consider topical barrier creams (usually produced in an oily base) such as tea tree oil, sulphur, MSM, aloe vera, honey with vitamin E, calendula )
Good products to look out for are Lincoln Muddy Buddy, Keratex Mud Shield Powder, Protoccon there are many external tropical barriers
You can buy supplements such as Naf Mud Guard or Global Herbs Mud X to help prevent mud fever
 
Cure?
Once your horse has mud fever it can be a nightmare trying to control it and completely get rid of the mud fever but there are options to consider.
You can buy supplements to put in your horses fed such as Global Herbs Mud X that will help fight the infection internally
Echinacea is a good natural herb to help strengthen the immune system.
Marigold (Calendula) is also a good natural herb with its blood cleansing properties
Bandaging the affected limbs can be a good way of keeping it clean and dry, but only if the skin has been properly prepared beforehand, and the correct bandaging technique is used. Bandaging that’s too tight or has moisture trapped underneath can encourage an infection to flare up again, so do only bandage if you feel can be done correctly
Washing the legs off with anti-bacterial washes such as hi bi scrub to remove the scabs/crusts of the mud fever and thoroughly drying before apply antiseptic creams, The scabs may form again quickly so initially the legs must be washed and treated daily, as once a horse has suffered with mud fever it is not unusual for them to have repeated attacks so prevention is better than the cure
Once the infection has been eradicated it is imperative to keep on protecting the area until the new skin and hair has formed so that re infection does not start again
In extreme cases of mud fever if the bacteria does penetrate deep into the skin, the leg may become swollen and a course of antibiotics may possibly be required from the vet
If any doubt at all about your horses health then consult your Vet
Below is a list of the products that are available to help with Mud Fever on our website
External
Internal Supplements

Kelly Rothery E-SQP

Friday, 6 November 2015


PROBIOTICS FOR HORSES

PROBIOTICS FOR HORSES

Probiotics are a live microbial feed supplement which can benefit the horse by enhancing and improving the microbial balance within the horses gut, resulting in the improved maintenance of good health and condition. A multi-strain will also promote the efficient digestion of food leading to reduced feed costs and enhance the body's defence mechanism to disease.

A probiotic supplement for horses can help to
·         Keep the digestive system in balance.
·         Reduce the risk of digestive upset caused by change of diet.
·         Promote efficient digestion and reduce feed bills.
·         Protect against gastric problems caused by pathogenic bacteria.
·         Protect against the effects of stressful situations such as travel, competition, racing, change of environment, illness, weaning etc.
·         Reduce unwanted side-effects from antibiotics.
·         Keep the immune system boosted.
·         Increase milk production from lactating mares and increase early growth in foals.
·         Maintain overall good health and condition.
·         Reduce the incidence of persistent and sporadic colics.

MICROFLORA AND THE DIGESTIVE   SYSTEM
The horses digestive system has evolved to process large quantities of high fibre forage on an almost continuous basis. Due to the requirements of competition and modern management the horse has to utilise high energy diets. In order to break this down to digestible products it relies on the assistance of billions of beneficial micro-organisms which live in the gut. These micro-organisms produce enzymes that convert food into its basic constituents which can be readily absorbed through the horses gut wall. A probiotic presentation should comprise up to seven strains of naturally occurring micro-organisms including yeasts. These have been chosen to survive the acidity of the stomach and for their ability to multiply rapidly, colonise the gut and replace microflora which has been removed through illness or stress. Probiotics promote efficient digestion and ensures optimum use of the horses feed. Use of a probiotic has been shown to increase digestibility of essential minerals such as calcium and zinc. Elements of the microflora are responsible for the production and bioavailability of B group vitamins.
PROBIOTICS AND THE EFFECTS OF COMPETITION AND TRAVEL
The delicate balance of microflora within the gut can easily be disturbed by stresses such as competition, travel and changes in diet. This will reduce the efficiency of the digestive system and may result in problems such as scouring or invasion by unfavourable bacteria. The feeding of PROBIOTICS ensures that, whenever the balance of the gut might be disturbed, friendly bacteria are available to recolonise available spaces and restart the sequence of events which will lead to a re-establishment of a stable and beneficial microflora.
IMMUNITY AND RESISTANCE TO DISEASE
Illness, antibiotic therapy and worming, can cause a disruption of the gut microflora which may lead to scouring and invasion of the gut by pathogens*. Some of the organisms present in probiotics produce natural anti-microbial products capable of inhibiting the reproduction of invading bacteria. Colonisation of the gut by probiotic bacteria can exclude potential pathogenic bacteria through competition for space and nutrients.
Bacteria present in probiotics can stimulate the horses immune system through the production of immunoglobins and cells (phagocytes) whose role is to destroy invading pathogens*. (* Pathogen - any agent that may cause disease)
A stimulated immune system coupled with the increased production of interferon may protect against some viral infections which could strike performance horses.
PROBIOTICS FOR USE IN STUDS

Pregnant and lactating mares have been shown to benefit from the feeding of probiotics. Improvement in the quality and quantity of milk can increase the early growth of foals. New born foals can be inoculated with a beneficial micro-flora through the use of a probiotic and the incidence of scouring in foals may be reduced.
 
REGULAR USE OF A PROBIOTIC
The maintenance of a healthy micro-flora in the horses gut will improve general health, appearance, performance and temperament. Efficient hind gut fermentation can help reduce the incidence of laminitis, azotoria, colics and other digestive disturbances.
PROBIOTICS are natural and entirely safe, have no known overdose levels, no unwanted side effects. 



SH Wetherald E-SQP 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Understanding equine tapeworm as a cause of colic?

(Anoplocephala perfoliata, Anoplocephala magna & Anoplocephaloides mamillana)

Tapeworms are an important and potentially very damaging parasite affecting the horse. They preferentially attach themselves to the junction of the small and large intestine the ileocaecal junction. Here, they can cause bowel irritation, intussusception (where one part of the intestine telescopes into another), rupture, or twisting of the intestine.

It is thought that tapeworm may be responsible for up to 20% of surgical colics. Tapeworms are present, to a greater or lesser extent, in the majority of horses. 

Parts of the country with acidic soils (for example, heath land), which favour the survival of the intermediate host of the tapeworm (the forage or oribatid mite), tend to have the highest level of infection.

Appearance
Tapeworms in horses are generally much shorter than dog or cat tapeworms, they are flat, triangular and relatively short being approximately 8 cm long by about 1.5 cm wide. Segments can detach it is it is these segments that may on rare occasion be spotted by horse owners. However the equine tapeworm grow up to 20cm long, white in colour. Rarer species can be up to 80cm long. They live in huge numbers attached to the gut wall at a natural narrowing of the gut (the ileocaecal junction).

Treatment
Recent studies have shown that far from being a seasonal problem, tapeworm infection occurs all year round. The lifecycle of the tapeworm starts when the adult worm sheds fertilised eggs within the horses’ droppings. These are eaten by an intermediate host called the forage mite. This mite is then eaten by the horse, along with hay or grass, and over the next few months, adult tapeworms develop within the gut.

The forage mite not only lives on pasture, but also survives perfectly well in hay and on bedding so there is no real seasonality to tapeworm infestation however most infestations are picked up after prolonged periods at grass. Therefore early autumn and spring are prime times for tapeworm infections to be managed. Tapeworm infestation cannot be diagnosed by faecal examination, so incorporating wormers that are effective against tapeworm in your overall worming and animal health planning schedule alongside other tools such as saliva tests and good pasture management are essential.

If treatment is required then Pyrantel based products should be used at twice the standard dose. Combination wormers containing Praziquantel are effective in treating tape worm or if only the tape worm burden itself is to be tackled then products containing only Praziquantel are available.

Symptoms

Can cause colic, sometimes fatal, by blocking blood vessels. 

SH Wetherald E-SQP