Monitoring Levels of Infection - Horse Worms

Monitoring levels of infection

Faecal egg counts oare regularly used to monitor parasite levels. The test is useful to check new horses, to ensure worming programme is working, to investigate illness and to identify particulaly high 'shedders' of worms. However the test does not pick up larval forms and can does not differentiate between certain worm types.

A blood test can be used to show antibody levels against tapeworm which again can be used to monitor worming programmes, check new horses and investigate illness (colic specifically). Limitations of this test chiefly reflect the fact that antibody levels to tapeworms stay increased in horses for up to 4 months so a high level today may actually reflect increased infection some months ago.

At the Links Veterinary Group we would advise a faecal egg count to be performed on new arrivals before mixing with current horses, and also a tapeworm ELISA blood test in cases of recurrent colic.

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