Worming Your Horse and Dog, How To Holistically
Horses and dogs (and some other animals) get worms. This is a fact. Unfortunately these worms can cause a great deal of discomfort and even serious illness (or death). So having an effective worming regime is vital.
But where to start? Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise on a programme for your horse or dog. This may involve the use of chemical wormers to get rid of the worms. Although now there's an increasing acceptance of the need to not use chemical wormers, to reduce resistance and ultimately them not working.
There are other ways to control worm burden, which are holistic and natural. Ensuring your horse or dog has a healthy and happy life without worms. Here are some top tips to help you.
Top tips to help control worms in horses holistically
(1) Keep pastureland free of manure. So what does this entail? You need to take your wheelbarrow and "pooper-scooper" and pick up the manure. Ideally do this daily. But at least 3 times a week. Not only will doing it regularly make it a less time consuming task, but it'll not give any worms in the manure time to get into the ground. If they get into the ground, then over time they'll be ingested again by your horse and so the circle continues.
Also a benefit of having clean pasture will reduce it getting 'horse-sick' and having weeds. (although inevitably some weeds will appear, and you can pick these while you're out poo picking!).
(2) Worm counts (manure)
There are several companies (I use Westgate Labs) who provide a worm-count service to horse owners, as well as veterinary surgeon's. Just send a sample of your horse's manure. Why bother doing this? It means you can know whether your horse, pony or donkey has worms. If they do, you'll know at what level, and if any worming is required. There's many different worms that can affect your horse, pony or donkey, a worm count is a great way to know what your equine has, if any!
So how often should your do a worm count for your horse? Ideally do this every 12 weeks. Why? Different worms are more prevalent at different times of the year. Worms are about all the time unfortunately, so it should be done regularly.
(3) Tapeworm tests
There's a special tapeworm test (Equi Sal) that's done by using your horses saliva. Your veterinary surgeon or companies like Westgate Labs offer this test. Like the manure test, the tapeworm test will assess whether your horse has any tapeworm 'burden', and if a wormer is required.
You may already have heard of wormer resistance. Basically resistance means some wormers will not work effectively to remove all worms. This is because the worms have got resistant to the wormer. So it's important to only worm your horse when you really do need to. I.e. when through a worm count/tapeworm test, it's clear your horse does have worms.
Different wormers have different active ingredients. It's always a good idea to change your wormer to try and avoid resistance. (So don't use the same one year after year). And importantly always only use wormers if you need to. Your worm counts/tests will confirm if it's needed.
BUT there is another option. There are different herbs that can be used to help promote good intestinal hygiene. My favourite product is Verm-X. It's all natural. Best of all, the horses don't mind eating it.
If you've ever had difficulty administering a wormer you'll know this is a massive benefit!
Does it work? Due to strict regulations on what can be said, Verm-X can't say that the products do work to eliminate worms. But having had a horse with a positive worm count and so needing a wormer, me then using Verm-X and then another worm count showing zero worms. I know it does work! Obviously every animal is different. But I do urge you to try Verm-X. A natural approach has got to be better than chemicals wherever possible.
If chemical wormers do have to be used, then if they are only infrequently, there will be less chance to develop resistance to them and they'll be more likely to work. Be sure to use the most appropriate one for what worms are present. If you're not sure speak to your Vet, a company like Westgate Labs or an authorised worming advisor.
Tips to control worms in dogs naturally
There's several types of worms that can affect dogs. These include heart worms, hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. They can be transmitted in various ways, and can cause serious health damage if not managed.
It's possible to have your dog's poop tested for worms. By doing this you'll know whether you need to take any particular action to reduce any worms.
You can buy many different types of wormers for your dog. But it's possible to have a natural approach. Verm-X is (again) my go-to product. With my dogs loving the "crunchies" that can be used every day. Containing herbs to promote good intestinal hygiene, it's an essential part of a holistic regime.
Westgate Labs https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk
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