Example of 'encysted' stage
Once buried into the intestinal lining, the body responds to the damage by 'healing over', effectively coccooning the parasite within. A 'standard' wormer will NOT effect this stage at all!
Encysted Small Strongyles
If you or your vet is not up to speed with the latest research from Equine Parasitologists, you aught to get informed. Horses are getting very sick (and dying) from this, and until recently, was a bit of a mystery as to why. Even as an Equine Naturopath, I still use chemical wormers in some instances.
The main target being encysted small strongyles.
Why are these guys so special?
Because during a particular stage of the small strongyle life-cycle, they bury (become encysted) into the gut lining and are completely impervious to your 'standard' wormer. In fact, by worming with a 'standard' wormer you are actually putting your horse at greater risk because
- Encysted small strongyles can remain encased in the gut lining for years if your current wormer is not killing them
- Encysted small strongyles are not in an egg laying stage. Your horse can be infested with them and it WILL NOT show in a faecal egg test
- 'Standard' wormers can instigate a mass emergence of the non-effected encysted ones from the colon wall, and cause colic, sickness and death.
What's the solution?
Firstly, get informed and take action! There are currently only two chemicals on the market in Australia (& worldwide) that will kill them at this stage of their life-cycle...fenbendazole (in Panacur) and moxidectin (in Equest) .
I have no affiliation with either of these products, except that I don't like seeing horses suffer, especially when education is the only barrier. If you have never used either of these chemicals, I would strongly advise you to incorporate one into your worming program.
For more information an article by Dr Anne Nyland can be found here
Happy Horse Australia recommends...
One of the most informative, up to date books on my shelf when it comes to equine worming is 'What to Worm With, Made Easy' by Dr Ann Nyland (older version was called Horses and Donkeys Worms and Wormers)
Highly recommended, easy to read & well priced!