horse worming

Is it safe to worm my mare if she is in foal?

Most wormers are safe to use on horses throughout pregnancy. However, it’s imperative you check the label first to ensure the wormer you’re using has been tested and approved as safe for use in pregnant mares. Worming Your Mare Worming is a fundamental component of horse-keeping, including for pregnant mares. While most horses can live comfortably with a small number of internal parasites, high worm burdens can place the health of your mare – and her unborn foal – at unnecessary risk. Mares should continue to be wormed normally throughout every stage of pregnancy. Usually all horses should be wormed every 8 – 12 weeks or as per recommendations given by your veterinarian following a faecal egg count. In addition, you should worm your mare on the day she foals and change paddocks. You can also take other steps to reduce the worm population on your property, including regularly removing manure from paddocks and resting paddocks during hot, dry weather. Worming Your Foal When your foal arrives, you’ll need to start planning their worming regime. Both mare and foal should be wormed when your foal reaches 6-8 weeks of age. However, if large roundworms are present on your property, you may need to start worming from 7 days with a specific wormer. Foals should receive at least four worming doses in their first year of life. As your foal reaches 12-15 months of age, they should have developed a strong immunity. Just like any other horse, their worming program may need to change to give them the highest level of protection. Read More About Horse Worming

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My mare is pregnant. When should I worm her? [Worming Pregnant Mares]

My mare is pregnant. When should I worm her? [Worming Pregnant Mares]

As a horse owner, you are always concerned about the health and well-being of your horse. If your mare is pregnant, this can raise a few questions regarding her care. One of the most important questions that came to mind was when should I worm her. Worming a pregnant mare is a delicate matter that requires careful consideration. On one hand, you want to make sure that the mare is healthy and free of parasites, but on the other hand, you don’t want to do anything that could harm the developing foal. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. There are several factors to consider when deciding when to worm a pregnant mare, including the type of wormer to use, the timing of the worming, her previous worming history, and the mare’s overall health. By working closely with your vet, you can ensure that your mare receives the proper care and attention she needs throughout her pregnancy. The Importance of Deworming Pregnant Mares As a horse owner, I know how important it is to keep my animals healthy and happy. One critical aspect of equine health is deworming, and this is especially true for pregnant mares. Worms can cause serious health problems for both the mare and her unborn foal, so it’s crucial to take preventative measures. When it comes to deworming pregnant mares, timing is everything. It’s generally recommended to deworm mares at least twice during pregnancy, with the first treatment taking place in the first trimester and the second (depending on the product used) around day 180. This helps to ensure that the mare’s immune system is strong and that her foal is protected from any parasites. The best way to determine if your mare actually needs worming is by having a faecal egg count done on her manure. This examination determines how many, and what worms she has, and can allow strategic worming to target the correct parasites she may have. It’s essential to work with your veterinarian to determine the best deworming protocol for your mare. The type of wormer used and the frequency of treatment will depend on a variety of factors, including your mare’s age, health status, previous worming history, and the specific parasites present in your area, along with the drugs and their strength in the wormer being used. Keep in mind that deworming pregnant mares requires extra care and attention. Some types of wormers can be harmful to the developing foetus, so it’s crucial to choose a safe and effective product. Additionally, pregnant mares may experience more stress during deworming, which can have negative effects on their health and the health of their foal. Overall, deworming pregnant mares is an essential part of equine healthcare. By working closely with your veterinarian and following a proper deworming protocol, you can help ensure that your mare and her foal stay healthy and happy throughout pregnancy and beyond. When to Deworm a Pregnant Mare Deworming is crucial, as it helps to prevent any potential health issues that may arise from parasites. However, it is important to time the deworming correctly, as some dewormers can be harmful to the developing foetus. The most effective way to know when to deworm your mare is by having a faecal egg count done on her manure. This process estimates her worm burden and is the safest way to determine whether she needs worming and with which product. It is a fairly cheap procedure and can be cheaper than a wormer. Faecal egg counts are very important if you are unsure of the mare’s worming history if you have just acquired her also, as worming can sometimes cause colic or diarrhoea if the mare has a worm burden and is suddenly wormed. Depending on the faecal egg count results, the best time to deworm a pregnant mare is during the early stages of pregnancy, ideally before 90 days of gestation. During this time, the mare’s immune system is still developing, and she is less likely to pass on any parasites to the foetus. Deworming at this time also helps to prevent any potential health issues that may arise from parasites, such as colic or diarrhoea. It is important to choose the right dewormer for a pregnant mare. Some dewormers can be harmful to the developing foetus, so it is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication. A veterinarian can recommend a safe and effective dewormer that will not harm the mare or her foetus. In addition to deworming, it is important to maintain good hygiene practices in the barn. This includes regularly cleaning stables, paddocks, and pastures to prevent the buildup of manure and other waste, which can attract and house parasites. By keeping the environment clean and free of parasites, you can help to reduce the risk of infection and keep your pregnant mare healthy. Types of Dewormers for Pregnant Mares Safe and Effective Dewormers I have found that pregnant mares require special attention when it comes to deworming. It is important to choose a dewormer that is safe and effective for both the mare and the developing foal. I recommend using dewormers that contain ivermectin or moxidectin, as these are considered safe for pregnant mares. It is also important to note that not all dewormers are safe for pregnant mares. Be mindful though, that some areas have a major resistance to ivermectin wormers and it is always best to consult with your Veterinarian. A resistance means the parasites have become immune to the drug and it does not kill them. Deworming Dosage When it comes to deworming pregnant mares, it is important to follow the recommended dosage. Under-dosing can lead to ineffective treatment while over-dosing can be harmful to the mare and foal. I recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions for dosing or consulting with a veterinarian for specific recommendations based on the mare’s individual needs. Using a faecal egg count test can also help to determine when

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What wormer is safe for foals?

Worming during the first year of life is paramount to protect the health of young horses, particularly foals. Every foal should receive at least four worming treatments by 12 months of age, with the first targeting Parascaris equorum – the roundworm.  The First Worming  Foals and weanlings are highly susceptible to intestinal parasites, and require the support of an effective and targeted worming program. The roundworm is the most dangerous to young horses, inhibiting healthy growth and potentially causing respiratory problems, colic and even death. As such, it’s recommended that every foal receives a benzimidazole-based wormer at 6-8 weeks. However, a word of caution – if large roundworms are present on your property, worming may need to commence from as early as 7 days of age. The Second Worming It’s imperative that you prevent the development of anthelmintic resistance by minimising the different types of wormers you use before your foal reaches six months of age. Eight to 12 weeks following your foal’s first worming, you should consider one to two evenly spaced worming treatments prior to weaning. Most often, the second worming will continue to target roundworms with a benzimidazole-based wormer. The Third Worming When your foal is ready to be weaned, your veterinarian should perform a faecal egg count to determine the longer-term treatment plan. By 12-15 months of age, your young horse should have received at least four worming treatments and have a strong immunity to roundworms. If roundworms aren’t found to be a problem with a faecal egg count, their worming regime will begin to target cyathostomins.

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I found little red worms in horse poo. What should I do?

As a horse owner, it can be concerning to see little red worms in your horse’s poo. These worms are known as small strongyles, or cyathostomins, and are one of the most common types of internal parasites in horses. They are typically found in the large intestine and can cause a variety of health issues if left untreated. If you notice little red worms in horse poo, it’s important to take action right away. These worms can cause damage to the intestinal lining, leading to poor nutrient absorption and weight loss. In severe cases, they can even cause colic or intestinal blockages. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help protect your horse’s health and prevent further infestations. Identifying Little Red Worms in Horse Poo or Feces Appearance of Little Red Worms Little red worms in horse poo are actually the larvae of small strongyles, also known as cyathostomins. These worms are typically only a few millimeters long and can be difficult to see with the naked eye. However, if you look closely, you may be able to see small, red, thread-like worms in your horse’s manure. Lifecycle of Little Red Worms The lifecycle of small strongyles is complex and involves several stages. Adult worms live in the horse’s large intestine and lay eggs that pass out of the horse in its manure. These eggs hatch into larvae, which then develop into infective larvae that can be ingested by the horse when grazing. Once they are ingested they can burrow into the intestinal lining and stay there for extended periods of time until they pupate or mature and migrate into the intestinal tract. Symptoms of Little Red Worms Small strongyles can cause a range of symptoms in horses, including weight loss, poor coat condition, diarrhea, colic, and even death in severe cases. However, many horses infected with small strongyles show no obvious symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose the problem without a fecal egg count. Diagnosis is important because small strongyles can cause significant damage to the horse’s intestine over time, leading to chronic colic and other health problems. Appropriate deworming and fecal egg counts can help prevent and manage small strongyle infections. Preventing Little Red Worms Regular Deworming Always make sure to deworm your horse regularly to prevent little red worms from infesting their digestive system, however follow the manufacturers recommendations to intervals so you prevent resistance from occurring. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate deworming schedule based on your horse’s age, weight, and health condition. Pasture Management Keep your horse’s pasture clean and well-maintained to prevent little red worms from breeding and spreading. Remove manure from the pasture regularly and dispose of it properly. I also avoid overgrazing and overcrowding the pasture, which can create an ideal environment for worms to thrive. Hygiene Always practice good hygiene when handling your horse to prevent the spread of little red worms. I wash my hands thoroughly before and after handling my horse, and I use separate equipment for each horse to avoid cross-contamination. Treatment for Little Red Worms Medication If you suspect that your horse has little red worms, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment. Your vet will recommend a dewormer medication that specifically targets small strongyles, which are the type of worms that cause red worm infestations. The medication may come in the form of a paste, gel, or granules, and you will need to administer it orally to your horse. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully and give the medication at the recommended intervals to ensure that all of the worms are eliminated. Natural Remedies In addition to medication, there are also some natural remedies that may help to prevent or treat little red worms in horses. These remedies include: It is important to note, however, that natural remedies should not be used as a substitute for proper veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before trying any new treatments or supplements. Always confirm the efficacy of any treatment with a faecal egg count every 2-3 months in case a worm burden is forming. Conclusion In conclusion, finding little red worms in your horse’s poo can be alarming, but it is a common problem that can be easily treated with the right dewormer. It is important to identify the type of worm your horse has in order to choose the most effective dewormer. Regular deworming and good pasture management practices can help prevent future infestations. It is also important to practice good hygiene when handling your horse’s manure to prevent the spread of parasites to other horses. If you are unsure about which dewormer to use or have any concerns about your horse’s health, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance and recommend the best course of action for your horse’s specific needs.  Read more about Horse Worming

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My horse has yellow dots on their legs. What are they?

A common parasite of equids, including horses, donkeys and mules, these small yellow dots are the eggs deposited by bot flies. Egg removal and de-worming will assist in protecting your horse against these irritating parasites.  The bot fly relies on the horse’s body throughout several stages of its lifecycle. The winged adult attaches as many as 1,000 eggs to the hair shafts of your horse’s legs, neck and face. The warmth and moisture of your horse licking the area promotes their hatching, whereby the larvae are ingested – burying themselves into the tongue, gums or lining of the mouth. Upon the second stage of their development, the larvae migrate to your horse’s gastrointestinal tract, where they remain until their third stage of development. As the larvae mature, they’re passed in the manure and emerge in early Summer and Autumn as adult insects. Treating Bot Flies Many healthy horses can accommodate a moderate population of bot flies. However, dental irritation, stomach ulcers and oesophageal paralysis can occur as they travel through your horse. The health consequences may be more severe for young or aged horses. In extreme cases, gastric or intestinal problems, such as impaction, rupture, peritonitis or anaemia, can result, which require immediate veterinary intervention. Preventing Bot Flies If you find evidence of bot flies on your horse or within their manure, your veterinarian will be able to recommend an ivermectic-based wormer to assist in eradicating the bot flies present. Regular de-worming is a central part of horse-keeping to protect your horse’s long-term health and wellbeing from the harmful affects of parasites. A faecal egg count prior to and post-worming is highly recommended to ensure your horse is receiving the right wormer at the right dosage.

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My horse is rubbing its tail. Could it be worms?

Most often, tail rubbing is a symptom of pin worm infestation, which will need to be combated with effective worming control. However, there are a number of other possible causes of tail rubbing, so it’s best to consult your veterinarian.  Tail rubbing Also known as rat tail, broken hair or matted tail, tail rubbing most often indicates the presence of pin worms. Eggs of pinworms are laid around the anal area, which leads to intense itching, or pruritis, and tail rubbing is the only way your horse may find relief. However, tail rubbing may also be caused by: Insect hypersensitivity Food allergy Lice infestation Mange Like crib biting, tail rubbing may occur as a behavioural vice. A veterinary examination will help you determine the precise cause of tail rubbing in your horse. Pin worms Any horse at any age may be affected by pinworms, with tail rubbing symptoms beginning at five months of age. Using clear tape, your veterinarian will take a sample from the perianal area, which is then observed under microscope for pinworm eggs. If pinworms are detected, your veterinarian will be able to provide advice on your worming program. They may also recommend some stable management practices to reduce the possible ingestion of pinworms, including manure removal and using feeders at meal times. Once the pinworms are under control, tail rubbing behaviours should begin to subside and the hair will start to grow back within a few weeks. While there aren’t any long-term problems associated with tail rubbing, keep an eye on this area to ensure it’s healing well.

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I have just bought a horse. What wormer should I use?

Choosing a wormer depends on several factors, including your horse’s age and the time of year. When a new horse arrives on your property, they should be kept separate from other horses until you conduct a fecal egg count to prevent new parasites from being spread. Worming Young Horses If your new horse is young, such as a yearling, you should ensure they’re up to date with all worming and vaccinations. Foals should receive at least four worming doses during their first year of life to protect them from large roundworms. By 12-15 months of age, a fecal egg count, followed by a fecal egg count reduction test, is necessary to determine which parasites they’re carrying and which wormer will target them effectively to prevent their spread on your property. Worming Mature Horses Any adult horse should also be quarantined from other horses to prevent pasture contamination. Cyathostomins can affect horses of any age, but they can be controlled with correct worming when numbers are small. Remember, different parasites thrive during different times of the year, so keep this in mind when examining the results of the fecal egg count and selecting a worming product. Your veterinarian will be able to help you develop an effective worming program. Parasite Control In addition to worming, there are a number of other management strategies you can use to control the spread of parasites on your property. These include:

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Why should I get a faecal egg count done?

With worm resistance on the rise, a faecal egg count (FEC), followed by a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), is paramount to protecting our horses’ long-term health. Without this much needed information, worming is costly at best and ineffective at worst. As a horse owner, you already understand the benefits of worming every 6-12 weeks, but do you actually know if the worming products you’re using are working effectively? A faecal egg count contains the answers… Right now, you can claim a faecal egg count for your horse for just $10! To find out more, call us on (07) 5411 4554 or email [email protected].  What is a faecal egg count?  A faecal egg count is a microscopic examination of your horse’s manure. A fresh sample of manure is collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis. There, a precise amount of the manure sample is mixed with a solution and examined under a microscope. What results can I expect from a faecal egg count?  Under microscope, your veterinarian will examine your horse’s manure at low magnifications to count the eggs present. Using a simple calculation, they will then be able to estimate the number of eggs per gram (EPG) to determine if your horse has a low, moderate or high worm burden. It can also identify the types of worms present. When is a faecal egg count needed?  You should conduct a faecal egg count at least twice a year. A faecal egg count should be done one week prior to worming, followed by a faecal egg count reduction test two weeks after. The results of these tests will tell you which worms are present and which wormers will be most effective. How much does a faecal egg count cost?  The cost of a faecal egg count is inexpensive in comparison to the potential and vast health problems caused by ineffective worming. Check with your local laboratory or veterinarian to find out their fees. Remember, the aim of a FEC, followed by a FECRT, is to make your worming program as effective as possible, while reducing the amount of wormer required. Not only do these important tests save you money, but they are imperative to protecting your horse from harmful parasites.

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Can worming my horse cause colic?

While some horses have experienced a colic episode post-worming, it’s not the result of worming itself. In most instances, colic occurs 12 hours after worming when damage has already been done by parasites or in horses that haven’t been wormed regularly.  To understand why this correlation has been drawn, let’s examine this issue closer.  There are two types of colic that have become associated with worming. These are impaction colic and gas, or spasmodic, colic. While these types of colic have been linked to worming by horse owners, the true culprits are roundworms and tapeworms. How do roundworms cause colic? Roundworms reside in the small intestine. When a horse is wormed, roundworms are killed which, in large numbers, can become an obstruction within the small intestine, leading to impaction colic. This scenario most often affects young horses or those that haven’t been de-wormed regularly. How do tapeworms cause colic? Tapeworms cause damage to the intestine and cecum of horses prior to worming. These parasites have been linked to both impaction colic and gas colic. But, most often, this is due to the damage that’s already been done. How do I avoid colic? While some horse owners have concerns about colic post-worming, regular worming is vital to your horse’s long-term digestive health. Without routine worming, the health risks associated with parasites are high and any type of parasite can cause colic if not controlled. Your veterinarian will be able to assist you in developing a worming program for your horses. If your horse hasn’t been wormed recently, speak with your veterinarian. They may advise to give a particular product to kill the worms in stages, the follow up with another product 2 weeks later in certain circumstances.  N.B.  Never give your horse half a dose of wormer, as this promotes resistant worms.

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What is rotational worming?

Rotational worming is a traditional worming strategy developed more than 40 years ago when large strongyles were the most concerning parasite in horses. This worming strategy worked very well but, today, with worm resistance on the rise, new strategies are needed.  Traditionally, rotational worming aimed to eliminate large strongyle populations before they matured. Treatment every two months was successful in preventing large strongyle eggs from re-appearing in manure and contaminating pastures. Unfortunately, traditional rotational worming and a continued reliance on only three drug classes has led to worm resistance in small strongyles and ascarid populations in horses around the world. As such, new worming strategies are essential to rid horses of high worm burdens. Worming Strategy Today, horse owners are advised to develop a strategic worming program that’s unique to the parasites present on their own properties. It starts with conducting a Faecal Egg Count Test,  to identify the types of worms present. In effect, by identifying the parasites affecting your horse – and not simply assuming – horse owners can then create an effective worming program that will target specific parasites at different times of year, depending on season and lifecycle. Drug Rotation When alternating between worming products throughout the year, horse owners must be mindful that many wormers contain the same active ingredients. Switching brands or boxes is not enough; you must ensure you’ve changed to another wormer with the correct active ingredient. The two main families most commonly used are the Benzimidazoles (BZ’s) and the Macrocyclic Lactones (ML’s). The Tetrahydropyrimidines (THP’s) are usually used in combination with other active ingredients to target specific parasites.      

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