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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 http://skimbleshanksthefarmcat.blogspot.com/.