Should I worm my horse this Spring?
Most of us won’t believe it (because of the crazy weather we have been experiencing), but Spring is just around the corner. And that means warmer weather and longer days, the perfect weather for parasite larvae to thrive. There are so many options on the market theses days for working a horse, it can feel like throwing a dart at a dartboard. Here is a overview of tips to successfully keep your horses worm free this Spring.
Why worm your horse?
The most important reason to worm your horse is to prevent parasitic disease by slowing pasture contamination with parasite eggs and minimize the development of parasite resistance to wormers in your horse. The most concerning intestinal parasites in horses are small strongyles or cyathostomins. Small strongyles can cause disease because larval burrow into the walls of the horse’s colon where they form cysts around themselves and can remain dormant over long periods of time. These cysts can interfere with the normal function of the colon, or cause sever colitis if mass emergence of larvae emerge from them.
How often should I worm my horse?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ in relation to worming horses. The frequency and type of wormers depends on factors such as how many horses you have, their age and susceptibility to parasites. Checking with your local vet is a good idea before beginning a worming schedule to get a faecal egg count performed.
Most adult horses need to be wormed twice a year. You should aim to worm your horse in months of mild weather (spring and autumn) as the larvae is most active in those conditions. Some horses are more susceptible to parasites than other, and will need to be wormed more often. To find out more about how often to worm your horse click here.
Methods of worming
The use of wormers (paste or powder) to remove intestinal parasites is now common practice. Worming recommendations have changed over time to reduce resistance of parasites to the medication. To improve the effectiveness of worming medication there are different methods and schedules you can apply, to find out more click here.