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Horse Articles :: Worming Your Horse

Worming Your Horse

The Importance of Protecting Your Horse from Parasites

Horses have worms. All of them do. The good news is they can be kept under control with proper management. Manure removal, practicing good sanitation measures, bot egg removal, and keeping to a regular deworming schedule are a must. Not doing so can take a staggering toll on a horse's health, even death.

Good programs should include deworming for strongles (bloodworms), ascarida (roundworms), Oxyuris equi (pinworms), and Gasterophilus (bots). Using paste wormers, adult horses should be wormed every 6 weeks but not to go longer than 2 months YEAR ROUND. For foals, from one month of age every month until they are weaned, then every 6 weeks until they are 1 year old. After 1 year follow the adult program. Pregnant mares should follow the adult program until 1 month from due date, at that time they should be wormed with an ivermectin product, and again with an ivermectin product the day she foals. If you are feeding a daily wormer, check with your veterinarian to make sure if any adjustments might be needed for your area.

Using something effective against all worms and bots such as an ivermectin product twice a year is a good practice. Depending on your climate, April - May, just before bot larvae leave a horse's stomach would be a good time to use the bot dewormer. Then again in late fall, after a killing frost and after all bot eggs have been removed from the horse's coat, October - November (once again depending on your climate). The rest of the year you can choose other dewormers. Pay attention to their effectiveness against strongles, which is a big parasite threat to your horse's health.

Keeping your horse on a regular deworming schedule will help your horse stay healthy and looking so. Make sure you follow the recommended guidelines for your horse's weight. With some wormers it can be detrimental by not doing so. Do not use a product with the same ingredient every time you worm (only exception is being afore mentioned with pregnant mares). The active product ingredient should be rotated.

This is an easy way to prevent many health problems for your horse. It is relatively inexpensive compared to the costs if it is not done. It is also relatively easy to do. It is part of good horse husbandry that should not be overlooked.

About the Author
Fran Mullens has been a barn manager, trainer and riding instructor for several years, and has worked with horses for nearly 25 years. Fran is co-author with Skimbleshanks the Farm Cat at his blog. To learn more about the farm cat go to










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