What to Do If Your Horse Has Parasites

What to Do If Your Horse Has Parasites

It is common that a horse has parasites, and treatment is routinely needed throughout the horse’s lifetime.

Precautions to Reduce Parasites: Some precautions to reduce parasites include removing manure from the horses stall. Sometimes the parasites are evident just by looking at the manure. Manure should not be spread in a field that the horse has access to.
Worming: After consulting with their veterinarian, most horse owners commonly give worm medications to their horses to manage parasites. Wormers are available in pastes, gels, powders, granules or pellets. Powders and granules normally come in single-dose packaging and the wormer is normally mixed in with the horses feed. Pastes and gels come in a plastic syringe which is inserted in the side of the horse’s mouth and administered.
Purge Wormers: Can kill parasites with one strong dosage. This type of wormer is given periodically, with a veterinarian’s recommendation, commonly every 8-12 weeks. A disadvantage is that the wormer is gone from the horse’s body in just a few days, so the horse can start to be re-infected.
Continuous Wormers: These wormers are commonly called “daily” wormers. They added to the horse’s feed each day in small doses and destroy the worms as they infect the horse. A disadvantage is that they may not be effective in quickly killing worms in a heavily infected horse.

Drug resistance is a growing concern for horse owners. Parasite resistance has been observed in many medications. Veterinarians now recommend worming based on specific fecal egg counts and actual infestation to reduce the chance of the advancement and resistance in worm populations.