Tapeworm trauma - any help please

cobden

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Joined
14 February 2006
Messages
118
Location
Lancashire
Hi all, apologies for the long post to come but I’m struggling at the moment.

I purchased a fell pony in the summer of 2016, and in November that year she went down with colic. As we couldn’t find an obvious reason for it the vet suggested blood testing her, and she came back with a result showing a massive tapeworm burden. To give some indication of the results, the score for a Moderate/High burden is >0.6 - hers was 16 !!

I wormed her for tapeworm and thought that would be the end of it, but at the end of a year she had a lower result but still very high (bear in mind you can’t really test until 3 months after the last worming, so it took time as a process). This wasn’t really successful so over the next couple of years 2018/2019 I wormed for tapeworm more frequently, and poo picked religiously. They were kept at home at the time which made it easier.

The worming for 2019 looked like this :

April - Equimax
July - Pyratape P
October - Equimax
December - Equest and a saliva test for tapeworm that came back clear - HURRAH

In January we sold up and I moved my two ponies onto a yard nearby. They were on shared grazing with ponies that were not on a worming programme and I poo picked but nobody else did. At the end of the month she coliced again and I asked the vet to do a blood test for tapeworm, which also came back clear. In April I worm tested them both and saliva tested them both. She was clear on the worm count but medium for tapeworm (arghhhh ) and my other pony had a low roundworm burden but was clear for tapeworm. So in the space of 3 months on the new yard the tapeworm count had gone back up again.

I continued with worming more frequently so :

May - Equest
August - Pramox
November - saliva test again - score back up to 7 !! ( second pony still clear) - wormed both with Pramox again.

So, on to this year. By this time they were in a field on their own and I poo picked religiously.I decided to stick to the 3 month worming for her and see if that and keeping the field clean would fix the problem.

So 2021 looked like :
Feb - Pramox
May - Equimax
Aug - double Strongid P

I saliva tested again this month and the result has come back as Med/High and 8.78 ! So the worming and poo picking obviously hasn’t helped at all. I’ve spoken to Westgate
labs about this a few times and they say she just doesn’t appear to have any resistance to tapeworm (my other mare kept exactly the same is fine), they suggested a gut supplement to help gut health and improve her immunity but the one they recommended was wildly expensive and neither of them would touch it, no matter how hard I tried to disguise it.

So now I’m in despair - I just don’t know what else to try. Has anybody else experienced anything similar, or have any recommendations on how I could get rid of this bloody tapeworm problem ? Any advice gratefully received !
 

shortstuff99

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Joined
23 September 2008
Messages
4,550
Location
Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
This does sound like an immunity problem, normally animals (and tapeworms themselves) limit the amount of tapeworms that can be present at one time in order to not kill the host. If she is getting extraordinarily high burdens then that does indicate an immunity problem.

I would try an immune system boosting supplement and see how you get on.
 

SO1

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 January 2008
Messages
4,638
They can get tapeworms from hay.

My new forest had tapeworms so bad even though he was wormed the vets thought he might have stomach cancer or a heart condition at first. He was referred to a parasite specialist as he kept getting reinfestations and in the end was on 4 tapewormers a year. I was advised to move yards to a part livery yard where the fields were poo picked from being on grass livery where the fields were harrowed.

It is very easy to get reinfestations if the land is not clean. Tapeworm eggs are carried by mites and the horse eats the mite as it is in on forage or their fur and mites can move so if your field is next to another field where there are horses that are not wormed or the field is not clean the mites can move into your field. The mites can be picked up on bridleways if they get on their legs or at shows or can be on hay and straw.

I moved to a part livery yard where the fields are regularly poo picked and the only time I have had a problem on this yard is when he was in a field next to some traveller horses that were fly grazing and I expect the mites ate eggs from the traveller horses and then got into his field. Since he has not been in that field next to the traveller horses he has not had a problem. He is out during the day and in at night and fields are poo picked and he has gone from needing 4 tape wormers a year to no tapewormers a year. He is exposed to less grass due to being in at night and also the fields are poo picked so are cleaner and he may just be exposed to less mites.

The mite is the host so if you don't have many mites on the land the risk is lower than areas where there is a lot mites. The problem is they also get on to hay and straw so it is hard to control.

Some horse more greedy and dirty grazers, my pony is like a hoover and will normally eat what others will not eat which I am sure does not help.

I also think that some gut conditions mean that they are better living conditions for tapeworms so they flourish in some animals and not in others. The head of tapeworm attaches to the intestinal wall with a set of suckers and I wonder if is easier for them to do this in some horses than others. I remember when my pony had it really bad that vets said there was very little research on tapeworms.

The head of A. perfoliata is equipped with four suckers with which the parasite can secure itself to the mucosa of its host. Nutrients are absorbed through the parasite’s cuticle. I wonder if my pony is very susceptible as he is very a good doer and I wonder if his metabolism is such that he processes nutrients very efficiently and there has a lot of nutrients within him which means that the tapeworms get really strong and thrive. Some horses are better hosts than others either perhaps as it is easer for the tapeworms to grab on with suckers or perhaps the nutrients absorbed from the horse makes it easier for them to grow and flourish.

Interestingly there has been some research in other animals which has indicated evidence that more food increases the odds of a long-term stay when it comes to worms.
 
Last edited:

cobden

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 February 2006
Messages
118
Location
Lancashire
That’s r
They can get tapeworms from hay.

My new forest had tapeworms so bad even though he was wormed the vets thought he might have stomach cancer or a heart condition at first. He was referred to a parasite specialist as he kept getting reinfestations and in the end was on 4 tapewormers a year. I was advised to move yards to a part livery yard where the fields were poo picked from being on grass livery where the fields were harrowed.

It is very easy to get reinfestations if the land is not clean. Tapeworm eggs are carried by mites and the horse eats the mite as it is in on forage or their fur and mites can move so if your field is next to another field where there are horses that are not wormed or the field is not clean the mites can move into your field. The mites can be picked up on bridleways if they get on their legs or at shows or can be on hay and straw.

I moved to a part livery yard where the fields are regularly poo picked and the only time I have had a problem on this yard is when he was in a field next to some traveller horses that were fly grazing and I expect the mites ate eggs from the traveller horses and then got into his field. Since he has not been in that field next to the traveller horses he has not had a problem. He is out during the day and in at night and fields are poo picked and he has gone from needing 4 tape wormers a year to no tapewormers a year. He is exposed to less grass due to being in at night and also the fields are poo picked so are cleaner and he may just be exposed to less mites.

The mite is the host so if you don't have many mites on the land the risk is lower than areas where there is a lot mites. The problem is they also get on to hay and straw so it is hard to control.

Some horse more greedy and dirty grazers, my pony is like a hoover and will normally eat what others will not eat which I am sure does not help.

I also think that some gut conditions mean that they are better living conditions for tapeworms so they flourish in some animals and not in others. The head of tapeworm attaches to the intestinal wall with a set of suckers and I wonder if is easier for them to do this in some horses than others. I remember when my pony had it really bad that vets said there was very little research on tapeworms.

The head of A. perfoliata is equipped with four suckers with which the parasite can secure itself to the mucosa of its host. Nutrients are absorbed through the parasite’s cuticle. I wonder if my pony is very susceptible as he is very a good doer and I wonder if his metabolism is such that he processes nutrients very efficiently and there has a lot of nutrients within him which means that the tapeworms get really strong and thrive. Some horses are better hosts than others either perhaps as it is easer for the tapeworms to grab on with suckers or perhaps the nutrients absorbed from the horse makes it easier for them to grow and flourish.

Interestingly there has been some research in other animals which has indicated evidence that more food increases the odds of a long-term stay when it comes to worms.
thats really interesting thank you, I’ve never heard of a parasite specialist - how did you get in touch, did your vet refer you ?
 

poiuytrewq

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 April 2008
Messages
12,122
Location
Cotswolds
They can get tapeworms from hay.

My new forest had tapeworms so bad even though he was wormed the vets thought he might have stomach cancer or a heart condition at first. He was referred to a parasite specialist as he kept getting reinfestations and in the end was on 4 tapewormers a year. I was advised to move yards to a part livery yard where the fields were poo picked from being on grass livery where the fields were harrowed.

It is very easy to get reinfestations if the land is not clean. Tapeworm eggs are carried by mites and the horse eats the mite as it is in on forage or their fur and mites can move so if your field is next to another field where there are horses that are not wormed or the field is not clean the mites can move into your field. The mites can be picked up on bridleways if they get on their legs or at shows or can be on hay and straw.

I moved to a part livery yard where the fields are regularly poo picked and the only time I have had a problem on this yard is when he was in a field next to some traveller horses that were fly grazing and I expect the mites ate eggs from the traveller horses and then got into his field. Since he has not been in that field next to the traveller horses he has not had a problem. He is out during the day and in at night and fields are poo picked and he has gone from needing 4 tape wormers a year to no tapewormers a year. He is exposed to less grass due to being in at night and also the fields are poo picked so are cleaner and he may just be exposed to less mites.

The mite is the host so if you don't have many mites on the land the risk is lower than areas where there is a lot mites. The problem is they also get on to hay and straw so it is hard to control.

Some horse more greedy and dirty grazers, my pony is like a hoover and will normally eat what others will not eat which I am sure does not help.

I also think that some gut conditions mean that they are better living conditions for tapeworms so they flourish in some animals and not in others. The head of tapeworm attaches to the intestinal wall with a set of suckers and I wonder if is easier for them to do this in some horses than others. I remember when my pony had it really bad that vets said there was very little research on tapeworms.

The head of A. perfoliata is equipped with four suckers with which the parasite can secure itself to the mucosa of its host. Nutrients are absorbed through the parasite’s cuticle. I wonder if my pony is very susceptible as he is very a good doer and I wonder if his metabolism is such that he processes nutrients very efficiently and there has a lot of nutrients within him which means that the tapeworms get really strong and thrive. Some horses are better hosts than others either perhaps as it is easer for the tapeworms to grab on with suckers or perhaps the nutrients absorbed from the horse makes it easier for them to grow and flourish.

Interestingly there has been some research in other animals which has indicated evidence that more food increases the odds of a long-term stay when it comes to worms.
This is what I was going to say, I’ve not had as bad a problem but was shocked when equisal tests came back as high when We moved to our current place.
I poo pick daily but apparently that’s not really very relevant with tapes.
My fields are terrible for harvest mites and they are the carrier of the tape worms :(
 

criso

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 September 2008
Messages
8,220
Location
London but horse is in Herts
Mine consistently has positive scores, one was so high it was off the scale.

He's been on different yards, been on hay, haylage and wrapped treated hay. When I had 2 horses, his companion was always clear despite being on the same feed and environment.

It doesn't seem to have any ill effects, he's a picky eater and his weight can vary but there's always a direct link to external factors such as how much grass is available or how rich the current batch of hay is.

I've alternated double pyrantel and praziquantal, I've done each of those 2 in a row to see if one seemed to be more effective but no discernible pattern.

What doesn't help is that because you are measuring antibodies, it can take a while before they go back to normal even if your worming is effective.


Currently at 1.78, the lower end of his range and just been wormed with praziquantal.
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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Joined
7 July 2008
Messages
6,766
Location
Scotland
Might be worth looking at the global herbs immune supplement. I’ve known quite a few people put their horses on it for various immune system issues and it’s worked for them. Not the cheapest but it worked for them.

Other than that I don’t have any actual
Tapeworm advice but I hope you Manage to find something that works to clear her up.
 
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