COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

A smart approach to parasite control

Worm control is vital, as severe worm infestations, or burdens, can be fatal for your horse. It was previously considered best practice to regularly give dewormers. However, current research now suggests that most horses do not require regular doses. The way forward is to monitor and target those horses that actually need treatment.

Garston’s annual worm egg count control package makes internal parasite control in horses easy, by using modern proven methods.

Join our Equine Smart Plan

How does Garston’s Smart Plan work?

Our Equine Smart Plan is a monitoring-based approach to reducing wormer resistance by avoiding unnecessary treatment, which also saves you money. We send you everything you need, and you collect worm egg count samples at recommended intervals during the summer grazing period and return them to the laboratory for testing. A member of our equine team will phone or email you with the result.


  • 3 worm egg count kits
  • Pre-paid envelopes for sending samples to the laboratory
  • A single dose of Equest Pramox as an annual treatment against tapeworms and encysted redworms – neither can be directly detected in a worm egg count
  • Guidance on when and how to carry out each element of the programme
  • Advice and interpretation on the worm egg count results from our equine team

Our experience suggests that most clients who ‘poo pick’ and manage their grazing will not need to use additional worming doses. For every ten adult horses grazing only one or two are likely to need worming. If one of the worm egg count samples reveals a high result, then we may recommend an additional wormer (not included in the package).

Smart Plan Annual Cost: £54 per horse, per year

Join our Equine Smart Plan

Our Equine Smart Plan will be most useful and effective for:

  • Adult horses
  • Horses kept in individual paddocks or regular groups
  • Yards where good paddock management techniques are used – this includes, twice-weekly poo picking, not overstocking, where co-grazing with cattle or sheep is used.

If you have breeding mares or youngstock, high stocking levels or turnout in varying groups, and/or no possibility of paddock management, please contact our Equine Vets who can offer tailored advice on the best worm control programme for your individual situation.

Contact Garston Equine Vets

Heavy worm burdens in horses can cause a variety of symptoms including colic, diarrhoea, and weight loss. Plus, over-worming can lead to worms becoming resistant to treatments, of which there are limited options. Read our advice on horse worming and why a monitoring-based approach works best.

By taking a small sample of dung from your horse three times per year at specific times during the grazing season, the level of roundworm burden can be assessed and we will advise you on the action to take. If the worm egg count is zero or at a low level then you do not need to treat your horse.

The presence of worm parasites is not always bad. A low level may help the immune system, and it is also beneficial to maintain a low level of sensitive worms called “refugia” on the pasture.

If a moderate or high level of worm eggs is detected, an appropriate dose of wormer for your horse will be recommended for you to purchase and use.

Join our Smart Plan today

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