Summer sores and faecal egg counts- Worm management in summer.

This summer has your horse developed a sore just won’t heal? You may be dealing with a summer sore.

Extreme case of summer sores
Summer sores occur when worm larvae are deposited by flies onto moist areas on a horse, such as a wound or near the eye. The worm larvae then irritate the area causing inflammation and itching. This leads to the development of a swollen raw lesion that doesn’t respond to general wound care.

Summer sores have been rare since the mid-1980’s, to the point where veterinarians were failing to recognize symptoms. Inexplicably, the incidence of summer sores have been on the rise over the last few years. Some horse owners point to the increasing temperatures and duration of summer while others attribute it to a rise in more intensive horse keeping practices.

The good news is, once correctly diagnosed, they are easy to treat with topical products, or your veterinarian may prescribe some additional medication. Summer sores are even easier to prevent with an ivermectin or moxidectin based wormer.

Routinely offering a worming paste ever 6-8 weeks is no longer seen as the most effective way to manage your horse’s worm burden. Now property owners are encourage to collect a manure sample and have it sent off to get a faecal egg count done.

Faecal egg counts can-
• Monitor how effective your worming treatments are.
• Monitor the worm burden in your herd.
• Identify horses that are more susceptible to worms.
• And Investigate weight loss or illnesses such as colic.

Once you start assessing your herds worming needs via faecal egg counts then worming can become more effective, cheaper and less likely to foster the development of resistance to worming products.

Worm burden in horse intestines

Dr Caroline Jacobson BSc BVMS (HonI) PhD Senior Lecturer – Nutrition & Biochemistry at Murdoch University will be presenting on faecal worm counts and how to switch from a winter routine of worm management into a summer routine at an upcoming Worms and Weeds Field Day held in Serpentine. If you would like to register for this event the details are below.

Workshop details-
Worms and Weeds Field Day
Date: Friday December 1st
Time 9:00am Start
Venue: Serpentine Private Property
Cost: $20.00 per property
Morning tea and Lunch Provided
FREE copy of Southern Weeds and their Control for every property.

This project is supported by Landcare SJ through funding from the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program.

Email- to register your place.

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