Thursday, March 17, 2016


White horse in field
White horse in field
(Photo credit: 
The world of horse wormers is a really confusing one.  Not only do you have to work out what you’re worming for and when you need to do it, there are so many horse wormers on the market that it can be hard to see the wood for the trees.

There are lots of different horse wormers on the market and these help to control internal parasites.  There are a number of different worms that can cause problems for horses; the most popular ones are: Redworms (Small and Large), Large Roundworms, Bots, Tapeworms and Pinworms.  

All worms have cycles and that’s why many horse wormer manufacturers not only advise on the worming interval, they also advise on what product needs to be administered when to treat which worms.  During the winter, horses are treated for Encysted Small Redworm Larvae and Bots, in the spring and autumn they are treated for Tapeworm and in the summer grazing season they are treated for Roundworm and Large and Small Redworm.

How do you know which horse wormers to use?  

All horse wormers will have active ingredients that treat a problem.  It is important to ensure that your horse is being treated with different active ingredients (at the correct times of the year) or else you could be worming with different products but be treating the horse for the same internal parasite.

However, manufacturers usually produce a range of products that cover the horse for the full year, one example is Fort Dodge who have Equest and Equest Pramox.  These products both have a 13 week dosing intervals and, together, contain the active ingredients required to treat a range of internal parasites.  The best person to advise on what you need to worm your horse with and when is a Vet, an SQP (suitably qualified person) or a worming products manufacturer.

Generally horse wormers come as tubes of paste, as granules or as liquids; but paste is the most common.  To administer the horse wormer weigh the horse using a weight tape and then set the syringe accordingly using the graduation to the weight required.  Next tie the horse up and make sure his mouth is empty of food.  Insert the syringe into the corner of the horse’s mouth and, when it is in the correct position; simply push gently on the plunger.  After the allotted amount of horse wormer has been put into the horse’s mouth, remove the syringe and gently lift the horse’s head in the air until he or she has swallowed the product.

Granules and liquids are easier to administer as these can usually be placed in the horse’s food.  Some horses will be able to recognise a different taste in their food and, in these cases, ingredients such as molasses may need to be used to disguise the product.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Before worming any horse it is important to carefully read the packaging and, if you are in any doubt about your horse’s health always contact your vet.  Worming a horse who is ill can cause problems so veterinary guidance is essential.  Similarly, if you have any queries or questions about the horse wormer you are using (such as, can I worm my young horse?  Can I use it to worm my pregnant mare? Etc) it is essential that you contact a Vet, SQP or the product’s manufacturer for advice.

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