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27th May Blog

posted 27 May 2012, 10:18 by Abacus Equine Lab

Hi All

Goodness it’s hot! Both worm count Labs are out on the road seven days a week and it is a real balancing act sometimes trying to tie in all the yards that want us on the same day! We owe a huge ‘thank you’ to Lynn in our office who manages to work all the routes out to keep the travelling and the petrol consumption to a minimum!  It often means working late (and by late I mean until 9pm!) but we have such a fantastic team of technicians and analysts that I have yet to hear a complaint from them!  It does mean that we have to spend a certain amount of time on staff outings, like the one the other week to the Beer Festival (with Young Farmers’ vs Rugby Club tug of war competition...) but then, I suppose the team are worth it!!!! 

I never thought when I signed up for this worm count lark that I would be this busy for this long but guess what, it is fantastic and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

On a scientific note (she says dragging herself away from the image of the tug of war competition) thank heavens that the pin worm epidemic seems to be abating for a while.  We have only had the occasional positive practical test in the past two weeks whereas before that we were having three or four per day.  Perhaps they don’t like temperatures hot enough to cook your dinner in!  Whatever it is, long may it continue.  They are the complete pest causing not only horrendous irritation to the tail and buttock area but also, potentially, blockages too.  Nasty little devils and really difficult to get rid of.  Worming just doesn’t seem to be having the effect that it should.  Even when you get rid of the dose that your horse has internally they can spring up again by lying in wait on any surface that the horse may itch his tail area on.  The only way to really get rid of them is to completely paint the wood or metal surfaces or, at least, scrub them down with strong disinfectant or wood preservative.  A complete pain but then, having seen some poor horses with red raw patches or, worse still, internal damage through impaling themselves on gate posts in an effort to get rid of the itch, it is a small price to pay. 

Better to have the horse worm counted and even have a practical pinworm test done as it may not be pin worm, but some other itch related problem like sweet itch.  The eggs do show up in the faecal test if they are laid at the right time or if there are enough of them.  We have had some really high pinworm counts so don’t believe people who say they don’t show up in worm counts – they do!  You can then decide if worming will help or if you want to go down the washing with aloe vera route – a good way to relieve the itch and get rid of the eggs which are sticking to the horse (it is the gel that the eggs are laid into which causes the irritation not the eggs themselves). 

Anyway, on that note I am off to check my pony for anything remotely itchy in his nether regions.  It is his 21st birthday party tomorrow – all his friends are invited and there will be a big ‘happy 21st birthday’ banner and carrot cake all round – I may even post pictures on facebook – if I can work out how! 

Bye for now

 The Ab-Lab Team

We Count at Your Yard