Looking after the well-being of your horse or horses is obviously a big priority and when it comes to parasite control, worming is one of the most important things to consider. In some cases it can save a horse’s life, but in less extreme situations it will still prevent the horse from becoming deficient in vitamins and minerals or in any other way malnourished; as well as making things a lot more comfortable for the animal than a situation where they are dealing with a worm infestation.
What Are the Main Worms to Worry About in Horses?
Horses are susceptible to several different types of worms which all have highly negative effects on the health of the animal. The most common are “redworms” or small strongyles to give them their proper name; as you might expect, these are red in colour. They tend to thrive in young horses and horses with poor immune syndromes as the result of other conditions; causing dramatic weight loss, diarrhoea and other digestive issues. If untreated the resulting malnourishment can even prove fatal.
Larger strongyles, often known as “bloodworms” are a problem in horses of all ages, and again, have very detrimental effects on the infected horse’s digestive system and nutrient absorption. The other significant strains of worms to worry about in your horse are roundworms or ascarids. These actually make their home in a horse’s lung and so can cause severe respiratory issues as well as other signs of sickness. Tapeworms and pinworms can also be an issue with horses and these small parasites tend to mainly cause symptoms in the horse’s digestive system when present in the body.
All of these worms pass into the body of a grazing horse where their eggs have come into the food chain through the manure of infected horses and other animals. Some worms can survive outside of a horse’s body for a surprisingly long time, even years, meaning the risk of a grazing horse picking up parasites like these can be pretty high.
What is the Best Regimen to Treat Worms in Horses?
Your vet will be able to help you find the best programme of treatment for your horse’s specific age and health condition but typically worms are treated by using a de-wormer every couple of months. This won’t harm a horse that isn’t infected but will provide regular enough treatment not to allow an infection to go on for long enough to have serious negative effects on your horse’s health and comfort. You should use a deworming drug that suits the season and work to a schedule that treats the horse for different potential infections. Your vet will be able to devise a good deworming program to help you make sure you are covering everything and at the right times. Deworming medicine is usually given to horses in paste form because for most animals this is much easier to administer, though some owners prefer to use other styles such as pellets and tablets.
With the right care it is easy to make sure your horse doesn’t suffer as a result of worms and other internal parasites and your vet will be familiar with what works best on the age and size of horse you have and the most prevalent parasites in your area. One thing it is important to do is keep good records of which de-wormers and other medications you give your horse and when to ensure you don’t give them any drugs that clash or accidentally give them too high or too frequent a dose of de-wormers or any other medications.
Before heading out and buying equest pramox or any other horse womer, make sure that you have spoken to your veterinarian first to determine the exact parasite that your horse is infected with and what the ideal course of treatment is.