Shaping the future of animal health

Strategic Worming

Resistance is a real concern that horse owners must face when constructing worming programs. A strategic approach to deworming horses is necessary to manage and/or prevent chemical resistance as no new compounds are likely in the near future.

Which wormer to use, and when is a decision that should be based on several factors. Worming strategically involves worming your horse based on the parasite lifecycle, risk of disease and likely resistance status of worms. In Australia, seasonal conditions are ideal for parasite growth during most of the year, particularly the warm, wet months of spring and autumn, however, the lifecycle of different parasites mean that they may be more active at different times of the year. When considering a worming program, you must also ensure that you include faecal egg count testing.

One thing to note is that many of the wormers on the market contain the same or similar active ingredients and switching the brand name or colour of the box may not mean you have changed the active ingredient being used. There are four key chemical groups used for worming horses: the “mectin” or “ML” class are those with names ending in “-ectin” is the most commonly used group and is present in majority of the products available in the market. Other groups include the “BZ” class of active those ending in “-azole”, the THPs include pyrantel and morantel and lastly Praziquantel which treats only tapeworms. To ensure the best seasonal worm treatment, it is recommended that a non-mectin combination wormer like Strategy-T® is used in spring and summer, and a mectin-based wormer like Equimax® or Equimax® Elevation is used in autumn and winter. Depending on likely encysted cyathostome burden, experts may recommend using a moxidectin product once a year.

 A targeted strategic deworming program involves Faecal Egg Testing (FEC) to understand the horses parasite burden and then worming based on results. Avoid using single active BZ-based wormers, Strategy-T® is your unique combination defence wormer against resistant equine worms. These two active ingredients work synergistically together meaning that they work better together than either compound alone. Strategy -T has been shown to have comparable efficacy on common worms to the mectin-based wormers*. Choose Strategy-T, the most effective non-mectin wormer.

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*Data on file

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