Controlling Parasites in your Horses

There are three groups of internal parasite which can damage the gut and cause disease in the horse. The information below will hopefully explain the importance of developing a good worming regime, using the appropriate products at the correct time:

ROUNDWORMS are grazed of f the pasture as microscopic larvae which bury their way through the gut and over many months migrate around certain organs of the body. They then return in the larval form to the wall of the intestine where they live for a while before bursting out into the gut to form adult worms which produce eggs to contaminate your pasture.

TAPEWORMS have an interesting life cycle which cannot be completed without an ‘intermediate host’ known as the harvest mite found on the pasture during the summer and autumn and to a lesser degree in hay. When the horse ingests the mite, the tapeworm is liberated in an immature form and over many weeks, changes into an adult tapeworm.

BOTS are a bee-like fly. Eggs are laid by the fly on the horse, mainly on the legs, which are ingested when the horse’s mouth comes into contact with the eggs. The eggs hatch by this process, the larvae bury their way through the back of the tongue and all the way down to the stomach, where they erupt and form masses of large grubs which cling to the stomach wall.

There are many different horse worming products on the market. We believe that EQUEST & EQUEST PRAMOX will provide the spectrum of ant parasitic cover necessary to protect your horse’s health.

Your worm control will only be as good as your management. Using the appropriate wormer, picking up droppings in the field, rotating your grazing fields, and ploughing, liming and reseeding every few years will help prevent worm infestation on the pasture. Any new horse introduced to a yard should be wormed with EQUEST and kept in a box or restricted paddock for a couple of days with collection and disposal of droppings prior to any introduction to communally grazed pasture. The following worming protocol is advised:

  • Winter/Summer: EQUEST (Adult and encysted roundworms / Bots)
  • Autumn/Spring: EQUEST PRAMOX (Adult and encysted roundworms / Bots/Tapeworms)

Remember to either keep the horse in for 24hours after worming or to make sure that ALL droppings are picked up ASAP. No worm product kills 100% of worms, hence the necessity to follow the above protocol.

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