Not very long ago I found a live worm in Galahad’s droppings. I felt terrible for letting it be there but also bemused – he is wormed regularly and when we had an egg count done the results came back completely clear.
I did some research and it turns out that what he had was pinworms. They are apparently notoriously difficult to kill because they live just inside the rectum – most modern wormers are too effective as they are absorbed much earlier in the digestive system and so never reach the pinworms. That made me feel a lot better – perhaps I hadn’t been failing my pony after all. Another thing that reassured me was the fact that pinworms cause very little internal damage to the horse. The main problem is that they make the horse very itchy. I have noticed that Galahad has been itching his tail a bit recently so that does make sense.
I was recommended to try a double dose of Strongid-P which I did. Two days later I found quite a lot of dead worms and I have never been so happy to see them! The wormer certainly seems to work!
I have also been using vaseline on the skin around the rectum. This should make it harder for the eggs to stick if there are any worms left behind. Pinworms have a relatively long life cycle so it may take more courses of wormer to clear them up completely. We have made a promising start though.