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For living creatures like humans, it is important to maintain good health in order to live longer and comfortably. We do all sorts of things in order to stay healthy. We take in vitamins, herbal supplements, health drinks, healthy food, and we make sure that we try to exercise to sweat out. This is because we are aware that we are not immune from bad health conditions; in other words, we are all susceptible to such state.

Life is good but it can only be enjoyed with good health. So, in order to enjoy it to the fullest, people need to stay healthy. Similarly, animals need to stay healthy as they are also prone to have bad health conditions if not well taken care of. They also need to have regular check-ups, exercise, and food which are good for them.

two horses in the field

One way of securing the good health of animals is de-worming or also known as worming. It is the process of prescribing an anthelmintic drug. This drug helps get rid of parasites such as roundworm, flukes, and tapeworm in their body. Purge dewormers as they are known intended for livestock as a feed supplement can be in the form of a gel, a liquid drench, an injectable or a pour-on. For dogs and cats, purge dewormers can come in a granular form mixed with their food, pill form, chewable tablets or liquid suspension.

However among the animals, horses are the most often animal to be dewormed with a paste or gel form of purge dewormer which is put on the back of the mouth through a dosing syringe, however, feed dewormers are also used in which both are in single dose varieties and on a daily basis feed form.

The process of horse worming is associated with the dangers caused by gastrointestinal parasites which is the most common horse disease. Along this line come many questions about horse worming issues. We’ll have a run through of the things you need to know about horse worming.


The possibility of horse catching worms is high especially when they are exposed to previously infected horse and/or when they are exposed to infected pasture. The latter could happen when the manure of a corrupted horse containing the egg, larvae, and parasites is mixed with the grass in the pasture. Horses could eat the egg and larvae when they are grazing around the pasture.


type of parasite that affects the horse

There are 4 common types of parasites in which each of them affects a horse differently.

  1.      Strongyles

This type of parasite can be categorized into two groups according to its effect on horses. They are large redworm or bloodworms and small redworms. The infection caused by this parasite happens by taking in larvae that transforms into parasites as they go down to the animal’s intestines. For large redworms, it is considered to have the biggest potential to cause harm to horses especially in the larval life cycle stage. It can damage the wall of the blood vessel as they go through the artery that provides blood to the intestinal tract. On the other hand, small redworms are considered to be the most common internal parasite among horses. This parasite generally occupies the lining of the intestine.

  1.      Ascarids

This is also known as roundworms whose larva’s cycle starts in the small intestine then moves to the liver then the lungs and then into the throat. The symptoms of this parasite are characterized by constrained development and respiratory issues. Roundworms threat the young horses compared to the adults as their immune system is not as developed as the older ones.

  1.      Tapeworms

This parasite resides and develops into maturity in the horse’s gut. This contributes to the risk of intestinal rupture due to inflammation. The occurrence of tapeworms in horses is caused by ingesting forage mites which contains tapeworm eggs.

  1.      Bots

The presence of bots in horses causes stomach irritation, digestive issues, and obstruction. Their life begins when adult flies’ eggs are attached to the horse’s coat. It is then transmitted to the horse’s mouth when the horse is licking itself. As it enters the mouth, it goes down to the stomach and attaches to it.


symptom of parasite infection on a horse

In order to know whether your horse is in good health condition or not, you may take note of the symptoms of the presence of parasites in them. These include a dull coat, loss of weight, and lack of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and colic. You may have your horse checked by specialists when you notice the presence of these symptoms in them. And another way for you to confirm the health status of your horse is to have a fecal egg count and blood test.



For you to manage worms, it is good to seek advice and help from a specialist. But for informational purpose, you may manage worms by managing the pastures, monitoring fecal egg count and horse worming.

horse dewormingManaging the pasture means decreasing the number of eggs and larvae in the pasture. One way of doing this is by removing manure in the pasture at least twice a week. Also, monitoring fecal egg counts help diagnose the parasites and assess how good your horse worming program and schedule. Lastly, after diagnosing the type of parasite found in your horse, providing the appropriate dewormer would help remove the worms from the intestine reducing the chance of infection. It is a good idea to have a horse worming schedule to have your horse’s health well monitored.


Having a schedule for your horse worming involves a number of things. You would need to know the type of parasite, the appropriate dewormer, the period of giving out dewormers and others.

With the help of veterinarians, horse worming is advised to be done every two months. However, some things are to be considered as you let your horse undergo the process such as the age and the fecal egg count. Also, you must use the right dewormer that is designed to kill the type of worm found in the fecal egg test. Avoid giving the same dewormers again and again as this can make it immune to the drug. In addition, it is important to give the right amount of dosage to ensure the effectiveness.


2 months


4 months


6 months

Moxidectin with praziquantel

8 months

Pyrantel pamoate

10 months


12 months




Before deworming, a fecal egg count test is done, ideally in the spring and fall.


Ivermectin, Moxidectin


Ivermectin with Praziquantel or Moxidectin with Praziquantel



Ivermectin, Moxidectin, or double dose of Fenbendazole for five days


Pyrantel Pamoate, Fenbendazole


Ivermectin with Praziquantel or Moxidectin with Praziquantel



Ivermectin or double dose of fenbendazole for five days


Pyrantel Pamoate, Fenbendazole or oxibendazole


Ivermectin with Praziquantel or Moxidectin with Praziquantel


Pyrantel Pamoate, Fenbendazole or Oxibendazole

The chemicals used above in the horse worming schedule can be categorized into three groups namely Benzimidazoles, Tetrahydropyrimidines and Macrocyclic Lactones.

Bendzimidazoles is composed of  Fenbendazole, Mebendazole, Oxibendazole. While Tetrahydropyrimidines is made up Pyrantel and/or Pyrantel Pamoate. And Macrocyclic Lactones has Moxidectin and Ivermectin.

It is a good thing to rotate the class of active ingredients to reduce possibilities of developing resistance. You must be careful in alternating the chemical class.