The EquiSal Tapeworm test is scientifically proven to diagnose tapeworm burdens in horses with high accuracy – it tells you if your horse has a burden and whether you need to treat or not. The test works like a blood test, but uses saliva instead. Tapeworm burdens are detected by measuring tapeworm-specific antibodies in the horse’s saliva.
When to use the EquiSal Tapeworm test
- Test every 6 months when you would normally treat for tapeworm.
- Ensure the horse has not been treated for tapeworm in the 4 months prior to testing with EquiSal Tapeworm* (unless you are carrying out a retest following a borderline or moderate/high result – see results explanation).
*After treating for tapeworm, antibody levels don’t drop immediately but reduce steadily over time.
How to incorporate tapeworm testing into your worm control programme
Include EquiSal Tapeworm testing alongside regular worm egg counts for redworm and roundworm. Use a moxidectin dose in winter for encysted redworm.
EquiSal Tapeworm results explained
EquiSal Tapeworm results are reported as ‘saliva scores’ together with a diagnosis of low burden, borderline result or moderate/high burden as detailed below.
|EquiSal Tapeworm Saliva Score||Tapeworm diagnosis||Tapeworm treatment recommended|
|Less than -0.09||Low||No|
|Between -0.09 and 0.6||Borderline||Yes|
|More than 0.6||Moderate/High||Yes|
When to treat for tapeworm
Treatment is recommended for borderline or moderate/ high results. Choose a dewormer that is suitable for treating tapeworm and ensure you know the horse’s weight for correct dosing.
When to carry out your next test
Routinely test every 6 months. Horses with a borderline or moderate/high diagnosis can be retested 2-3 months after treatment* to determine whether additional treatment is required. *After treating for tapeworm, antibody levels don’t drop immediately but reduce steadily over time.
How to reduce the risk of reinfection after treating for tapeworm
Horses can easily become re-infected after treatment, leading to persistent burdens and continuous egg shedding. Important steps to minimise the risk of reinfection include;
- routine paddock management, such as regular muck clearance, where muck is completely removed from grazing and adjacent areas,
- field rotation and resting where possible,
- restrict grazing while away from home, such as at show grounds.
Repeated use of the same type of wormer can lead to the development of resistance in parasites to treatment. Equine Health Direct strongly recommends including a Faecal Worm Egg count in customers worming programmes and rotating the type of wormer that they use. If you need any further advice regarding worming programmes please see our Worming advice page or contact us.