Not displaying properly? Click here to read online.

Newsletter Volume 4 2018
Contents of this newsletter

01 Sore eyes - 5 signs your horse needs the vet

02 When was the last time your horse had a worm egg count?

01 Sore eyes - 5 signs your horse needs the vet

A horse with a sore eye is a serious concern. Eye problems can deteriorate rapidly and as such they are usually considered an emergency condition. It is so important to be aware of some of the signs of a sore eye, so that you can contact your vet immediately.

1. Excessive weeping or discharge
A sore eye may weep clear fluid which can be seen streaming from the eye. Thick, white or yellow coloured discharge could indicate infection.

2. Redness
Any redness of the conjunctiva of the eye could indicate inflammation or bruising.

3. Swollen eyelids
Swelling around the eye can be the result of inflammation or could be due to direct trauma to the eye and surrounding structures.

4. Closed eyelids or squinting
A horse with a sore eye will be very sensitive to direct sunlight. As such they will squint or close the affected eye in an attempt to reduce the pain.

5. Discolouration of the eyeball
The surface of a horse’s eyeball should be clear and shiny. A “blue” or white-coloured eye could indicate a serious problem with the cornea.

Don’t take chances when it comes to a sore eye – call your vet immediately if your horse shows any of the above signs.

02 When was the last time your horse had a worm egg count?

Modern horse de-worming practices have evolved greatly. Traditionally it was recommended that horses were rotationally dewormed every 6-8 weeks to keep worms at bay – but this is no longer the case.

What is the problem with traditional de-worming practices?

Traditional de-worming practices were developed more than 40 years ago when large strongyle worms were the most common and damaging internal parasite of horses. With the introduction of the drug ivermectin, this approach was very successful in controlling large strongyles, to the point that they are no longer much of an issue. However, due to decades of such frequent deworming use, we are now faced with the serious issue of resistance. Small strongyles are now considered the worm type of greatest concern, and we have limited effective treatments available to combat them.

What are the cornerstones of modern de-worming recommendations?

1. Perform regular worm egg counts
This helps determine if your horse actually has a worm burden. Worm egg counts should be conducted 2-4 times per year, but more frequently for young, aged, unwell or new horses. A small manure sample for each horse is all this is required for your vet to perform a relatively inexpensive worm egg count.

2. Use a combination deworming agent
Deworming agents with two or more active ingredients are less likely to lead to resistance. Target the deworming ingredient for the most relevant worm type.

3. Deworm adult horses 1-2 times per year
Unless the worm egg count suggests more regularly.

4. Practice good pasture management
Remove manure regularly, avoid overcrowding, and spell paddocks to help manage worms.

Call us today to arrange a worm egg count for your horse!