Milbourn Equine recommend worming against tapeworm in March and September. We do strongly advise that we test for tapeworm first to check if worming is required to reduce the development of resistance to the medicines used to treat them.
Testing for tapeworms cannot be done through the standard faecal worm egg count.
Either a blood test or the Equisal Tapeworm saliva test can be used to identify whether your horse has a tapeworm burden.
A blood sample can be taken by your vet to test, a method known as the ELISA or tapeworm antibody test. A horse with a high level of tapeworm infection will produce a large number of antibodies, which can be detected in the blood.
The test indicates a broad level of intensity, rather than tapeworm numbers. The amount of antibodies will indicate whether the burden is low, medium or high.
The Equisal tapeworm saliva test is performed on a swab of saliva taken from the horse’s mouth which is much quicker and less invasive than a blood test. The Equisal test has been shown to have very similar effectiveness as the blood test in detecting the presence of tapeworms.
The procedure is simple and full instructions are provided in the kit which is now available from us. A swab is inserted into the mouth where the bit normally goes, then placed into a collection tube which is then posted to the laboratory by the owner for analysis. The result is returned to the practice and your vet will contact you with the result and advice for treatment if required.