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Horse Dewormers

Horse Dewormers

Quick facts

  • Deworming is key to horse and foal health care programs.
  • Some studies show 80 percent of colic cases relate to parasites, with larval strongyles most responsible for colic in adult horses.
  • Fecal samples can test for internal parasites except tapeworms and bots.

How often should I deworm my horse?

Fecal egg counts can help you decide whether your horse needs deworming. If your horse is shedding high egg counts you can deworm them for that specific parasite(s) respectively.  Ideally, you’ll find a balance where you control the parasites but don’t over deworm. Over deworming can promote the growth of resistant parasites.

Most farms use a double dose of pyrantel or a praziquantel product once a year for tapeworm control. Farms with a high stocking rates may deworm more often or use daily wormers  for individually fed horses.

When should I deworm mares and foals?

Deworm mares after foaling to reduce passing Strongyloides to the foal through the milk. Prior to weaning (about 2 months of age), start foals on a deworming program that targets roundworms.

How else can I manage parasites?

You must use dewormers to manage parasites, but management also plays a key role in parasite control programs. The following management tips can improve parasite control on your farm.

  • Isolate and treat new animals on the farm to make sure that highly infected animals don’t shed parasites in the environment and infect other horses. Alternatively, require that new animals be dewormed prior to joining the stable.

  • Closely monitor young horses as they are prone to parasitic diseases.

  • Avoid feeding off the ground, especially in soiled areas and in box stalls.

  • Routinely pick or drag manure in pastures and routinely mow pastures. This will break up manure piles and destroy eggs and parasite larvae through drying, sunlight exposure or freezing.

  • If your horse’s’ primary forage comes from grazing, make sure animals aren’t overcrowded or the pasture overgrazed. A good recommendation is each 1,000-pound horse needs two acres of pasture.

  • Rotational grazing will help reduce parasite exposure by:

    • Spreading out manure

    • Giving manure time to break down

    • Reducing overgrazing


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