Equine laser therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy) LLLT is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries or lesions to improve wound/soft tissue healing and give relief, for both acute and chronic pain.
Photobiomodulation or cold laser therapy uses a single, in phase, coherent light source to trigger a biological effect.
LLLT work by triggering stimulation of the the immune, lymphatic, vascular and neural systems to natural reduce swelling and inflammation and, with veterinary advice, is a possible alternative for non steroidal ant inflammatory drugs.
Equi -Laser a small hand held portable device powered using a single 9 volt alkaline battery or mains electricity. The laser equipment can be bought or hired direct from Equi-Laser. www.equi-laser.co.uk. At the time of writing, the Equine-laser was £585, making it considerably more expensive than other laser machines on the market
Equine Thor Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), a Cold Laser for horses. Equipment to buy or hire. THOR provide a treatment manual with pictures and step-by-step instructions on how to treat. They also offer a training course. www.equinethor.com
Whilst there are lasers marketed specifically for horses, if cost is an issue the Nanabest machine is widely available and suitable for animals.
The New Equine Sports Therapy ~ Mimi Porter.
Covers Magnotherapy, Ultrasound and Laser Therapy
Equine Wound Management ~ Ted S. Stashak.
Contains informative chapter on the use of laser treatment for wounds
Equine Laser Surgery ~ By Kenneth Sullins
This is out of print. We’re currently not quite sure where you can find a copy, but will keep looking!
www.moulton.ac.uk The Moulton College Equine Therapy Centre provides a variety of treatments and services (rehabilitation, laser and spa therapy) to promote and assist the recovery of client’s horses in a purpose built facility located at the Pitsford Centre, Moulton College, Moulton, Northampton.
At Rose Farm Equine they specialise in Equine Bowen Technique, Healing Laser Therapy and Equine Rehabilitation. Situated at Rose Farm, Catcott near Bridgwater, Somerset. www.rosefarmequine.co.uk
Mark Bruin offers cold laser therapy, a well established procedure for speeding up healing and giving effective non drug induced pain relief. Based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Phone Mark for more information: 01484603907 www.lisabruin.com
Helen Thornton uses cold laser therapy, sports massage, Bowen therapy, and manipulation depending on your horse’s problem. Helen is based in North Lincs, covering all UK racing yards and competition horses. Phone: 07947623923 or visit www.helenthornton.com.
Traditionally, a horse worming programme would follow the cycles of the moon.
Worming started 2 days before a full moon (the moon waxing) and finishing 2 days after a full moon (the moon waning), 5 days in total.
This practice is still followed in many parts of rural Europe. We have had consistently good results using the moon cycles every 3rd to 4th month.
Light attracts adult red worms, as does gravitational pull (we don’t know why), and therefore red worms become active over the full moon phase.
This could possibly be explained by some programming in their genes? What rural peasants have always known, science has yet to discover!
Whatever time of year or season you decide to de-worm your horse, the starting point is a Faecal Egg Count (FEC) test. The results will show the level of worm burden before using a wormer.
Horse Worming Programme Timetable
The two most important deworming dates are Spring & late November, even though your horse’s FEC results are consistently low, don’t miss out on these crucial dates.
Regular de-worming is necessary to keep the worm population of your pasture under control. A regular schedule starts with the first flush of Spring grass within 3 weeks of horses being put out to grass. Followed by regular applications every 8 weeks throughout the summer and autumn months.
This regime can be relaxed over the winter months (November to late February) if the horse is stabled in a clean environment.
The re-infestation rate from pasture is virtually nil once the temperatures drop below 10 degrees celsius, early December through to early March.
If your horse is left out all year round then the last deworming will be in late November for encysted redworm, then left to overwinter until early Spring when temperatures start to rise.
Contrary to belief, frost and low temperatures do not kill worm larvae. They hibernate until Spring then moult into infective larvae.
Ideally, your deworming schedule should start in spring. The lengthening daylight hours, coupled with warmth and moisture, activates worm activity.
Eggs that have overwintered on grazing, start to hatch once the temperatures reach double figures, over 10 degrees centigrade.
The old rule was three weeks after horses go out to grass start deworming.
No matter what your horse’s FEC result, it is essential to deworm in spring followed by a FEC test. This will remove young, new season, larvae picked up from grazing and encysted larvae emerging from the gut wall. Think of this as an internal parasite spring clean.
A FEC taken 14 days after the last dose of wormer is essential to establish the worm burden.
If results are not as expected – a higher result than the FEC test taken before worming, confirms the presence of encysted larvae emerging into the gut. Encysted redworm larvae often fill the void when the small intestine is cleared of larvae and adult worms. Much like squatters, they note a vacant home and waste no time in occupying.
Immediately re-dose to clear the unwanted (squatters) encysted larvae maturing into adult worms, followed by a FEC.
In June, dose again to check the redworm population building up, followed by a FEC.
A low egg count less than 200 epg means deworming can be put on hold over the hot summer months of July and August.
The September rains, misty mornings with warmth and moisture again encourage worm activity, eggs hatch and larvae survive on grazing.
Autumn & Winter
A FEC should follow the Autumn dosing. Results over 750 epg again point to emerging encysted larvae maturing into egg-laying adults. Redworm larvae can encyst, hibernate for 2 or 3 years then emerge when conditions suit (spring & autumn).
The squatters move in once the wormer clears the resident mature worms.
Dose again, to clear the newly arrived squatter redworms. The emergence of large numbers of encysted redworm larvae shows the neglect of a proper approach to deworming in previous years.
Mid to Late November, before temperatures dip under 10 degrees centigrade, do your last worming followed by a FEC test. This will clear any redworm larvae that would otherwise start encysting, to hibernate through winter.
How do I reduce a high worm burden?
High worm burden points to poor pasture hygiene.
Poo picking, composting and seasonal deworming are therefore essential to control your horse’s worm burden.