How to Effectively Treat Worms in Horses

Like other domestic animals, horses are prone to diseases and parasites that affect their well-being. Both the internal and external parasites are likely to affect the horse.

A low number of parasites in the horse’s body may not have severe effects on the animal. However, a high number of parasites has serious health implications on the horse.

Treat Worms in Horses

Types of Worms That Affect the Horses

  • Pinworms-They harbor in the large intestines or the rectum of the horses. They cause hair loss and severe itching of the tail.
  • Bots-The bots are flies that lay eggs on the skin of the horse. The horse ingests the eggs when it licks its horse. They cause inflammation of the harbor, skin and stomach ulcers which brings about colic or perforation of the intestines.
  • Stronglyes (Cyathostomins)-Both the large and small redworms cause serious health problems to the horse. They cause severe weight loss, colic and diarrhea. In severe cases, it leads to death.
  • Tapeworms-They causes less damage to the horse. However, in severe cases, they cause blockage in the large intestines causing digestive problems and colic.
  • Roundworms-These affects the liver, the digestive system and the respiratory system. In severe cases, it causes permanent damage to the digestive system. Also, they block and cause rupture of the gut resulting in death.

How to Control Worms in Horses

The horse owner has to follow a specified worm control method and exercise proper pasture management which is done by:

  • Picking up the horse droppings from the grazing area as soon as possible. During the warm weather, animal waste should be picked at least twice a week.
  • Avoid overgrazing. Overstocking the animals in a small grazing area increases the chances of worm infestation in the horses. The droppings will be more, and the horses will eat the pastures close to the ground where there are a high number of the eggs and larvae of the parasite.
  • Practice pastures rotation in the grazing paddocks within a period of six to eight weeks of grazing.
  • Cross-graze, the horse with other farm animals. Some of the worms affecting the horse may not survive in other animals. If the grazing area has parasites, the other animals will help reduce the rate of infestation in horses.
  • Harrowing helps in spreading the worms across the grazing field.
  • Feed the horses from the feeding tubs to avoid the contamination of the hay with the manure.
  • For a new horse, do not keep it with other horses. First, evaluate the parasite burden on it.

How to Treat Worms in Horses

If administered correctly, oral chemical medicine is the most effective method of treating worms in horses.

  • First, weigh the horse to help determine the right dosage for the animal. If you at the farm, use the weight tape as gives a rough estimate of the weight of the horse. Alternatively, use a weighbridge or the veterinary hospital.
  • When administering the wormer for hosre, ensure it has reached up to the throat. Tilt the head of the horse upwards to ensure the horse does not spit it out.
  • Ensure the horse does not spit even the slightest part of the dose. If the treatment is incomplete, the parasites will become resistant to the drug.
  • Give all the horses and ponies the wormer at the same time using the same medicine.

How Often Should I Treat Worms in Horses?

There are four major horse wormers: The Tetrahydropyrimidines (clear drench), pyrozine, benzimidazoles (white drench) and the macrocyclic lactones.

These four wormers should be even administered in 12 months to avoid severe worm infestation and resistance to any of the drugs. Generally, the horse should be de-wormed every six months.

After the treatment, the horse may become weak in the joint supplement for horses and respiratory supplement for horses to help it regain strength.

Final Thoughts

No horse is immune from worm attack. However, the severity of the attack can be controlled with active management of the pasture and proper treatment. Reach out to a veterinary office near you for help and information on how to effectively treat worm in horses.

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