A new revolutionary test is now available for tapeworm which uses saliva samples, to determine the presence of tapeworm antibodies.
This test will assist in determining if and when a tapeworm treatment is required.
About the EquiSal Test
The EquiSal Tapeworm Test is a simple-to-use saliva test, which can be taken by horse owners themselves, without the need for a vet. This innovative test was developed by Austin Davis Biologics Ltd.
How to carry out the test
Purchase your EquiSal test kit by clicking here.
The kit comes complete with full instructions.
Important: Do not feed or exercise your horse for 30 minutes before testing.
Use the specially designed swab to collect a saliva sample from your horse by inserting it in the side of their mouth in the space where the bit normally sits.
Wait for the indicator to turn pink, this shows that enough saliva has been absorbed into the swab and can take a few minutes.
Place the swab into the collection tube, and place in return paid envelope.
You will receive an email with the result from the EquiSal saliva test from our team within 48 hours of the lab receiving it.
When to test for tapeworm
The test should ideally be carried out 4 months after your horse has been wormed for tapeworm, this is because antibody levels in the saliva reduce over time after treating a tapeworm infection. You need to be sure that there is sufficient time to allow the levels to drop or you may get a false result. We would recommend testing three times a year to be on the safe side. See below for calendar recommendations.
What about worming for tapeworm?
Current veterinary recommendations are to worm twice a year with a tapeworm treatment - either praziquantel or double dose of pyrantel. It is very difficult to detect resistance in tapeworm because of the life cycle. It has always been accepted that if you use the praziquantal chemical once or twice a year then it would be very difficult for the worm to develop resistance as there is not enough exposure to the chemicals. Your horse can contract tapeworm at any minute of the day. The wormers do not protect against a future infection, they only deal with any infection that may currently be present.
Assuming that the Equisal test is effective then, if it is carried out three times a year, it should detect tapeworm antibodies within a time gap that has an acceptable risk. However there are no guarantees with tapeworm and none of the currently available tests or treatments can prevent your horse contracting tapeworm.
If you were only going to use the Equisal test twice a year then we would continue to recommend an annual treatment for tapeworm in between the two tests.
Annual Tapeworm Recommendations:
End June Equisal or Tapeworm Wormer