Around this time every year the grasses begin to grow again and our pastures start being enjoyed by the animals once more. If you have horses this is an important time to make sure you are being diligent about your deworming schedule. The new plant life brings parasites and worms that will inevitably affect the horse with the abundant exposure they have. Parasites are often contracted from either consumption or from infection such as from bot flies.
Although this sounds alarming, this is a very normal exposure and as long as you have a deworming schedule and plan that you follow it will be easily treated. By treating regularly and rotating dewormers you can effectively eliminate the parasites in your animal, maximizing overall health and comfort.
Common Types of parasites
Roundworms - Roundworms are contracted from ingestion. Once they are in the intestinal tract, they exit out through the intestinal lining and migrate through the hepatic vein to the liver and the lungs causing serious damage to the liver and potential permanent damage to the lungs by consuming the tissues for nutrients. These worms live only a couple weeks but lay 100,000-200,000 eggs a day which are passed and can reinfect the horse. This can result in scarring, pneumonia, pulmonary hemorrhaging, and permanent term breathing problems.
Tapeworms - Tapeworms are parasites that are contracted through mites which are often ingested while the horse is grazing. The tapeworm spends its whole migration in the digestion tract. Infestation of tapeworms can cause anemia and if untreated can cause major intestinal damage.
Pinworms - Pinworms are parasites that are on the posterior end of horses. They live in the rectum of a horse and venture out while the horse is asleep and lay eggs on the hindquarters and tail, and then retreat back inside the horse. The eggs then are transferred by contact or ingestion to other horses. Infection of pinworms can be subtle but can cause Itchiness, Inflammation, and restlessness.
Lungworm - Commonly found in the grass and pasture and even hay, this parasite is ingested and settles in the lungs of a horse. Lungworms can cause severe damage and illness resulting in scarring, pneumonia or bronchitis, loss of appetite, labored breathing and coughing.
Bots - A fly which lays eggs in the skin of a horse on the face of legs. The eggs can cause damage and infection to the skin. The Larvae travel through the mouth unto the digestive tract to be deposited to develop in the soil into flies often found in stables and pastures which repeat this cycle. Internal damage on a horse includes infection, swelling, ulcers, and colic.
Now while all of this can sound intimidating, there are simple precautions horse owners can take to ensure that these pests are eliminated and your animal protected. Most of these are treated simply by deworming paste that you can find at either of our Coop locations! The trick with deworming is finding the dewormer that will treat the correct type of parasites, and rotating the dewormers to avoid the parasites developing a tolerance to the active ingredients.
Above is the huge selection of horse dewormers that we carry in our stores!
When considering what dewormer to use and what makes the dewormer different from the others you are going to have to look at the Active Ingredient of that specific dewormer that is in parentheses underneath each of the brand names. These active ingredients are the medications that actually eliminate the parasites. It’s these active ingredients that will determine the types of parasites that are treated and also to rotate away from the same ingredient to avoid the parasites developing a tolerance to that ingredient.
Below is a diagram to show the effectiveness of each type of dewormer. It lists the active ingredient and indicates which type of pest that product will treat to make it easy for you to compare and decide.
Now there are specific times where certain parasites are more of a concern. Tailoring your deworming schedule to effectively match the cycles of these pests is going to be your most effective and beneficial plan. Below is a recommended schedule for both Adult Horses as well as one that is an ideal schedule for Foals.
Now that we have covered the basics of deworming, it's important to cover the other areas that will help you eliminate pest problems more thoroughly. As we discussed the main types of parasites that infect the horses, it was noticeable how many of these were contracted from ingestion. Treating the horse's environment can help eliminate the problem in significant ways. Let discuss some preventative measures you can take and some other products that will help in your endeavor to protect your horse.
Most of the parasites are deposited through the manure and that is where they restart their life cycle and multiply. It’s safe to say that by providing shavings that can absorb and contain the waste in an effective way and by cleaning the stall often would be a great place to start.
Some of the parasites would be able to be transmitted back into your horse or passed to others through the water supply. These often don’t get cleaned and sanitized often so this may be something you want to keep in mind. Sanitizing the water trough on a semi regular basis and making sure it is clean is going to be a good idea.
Diatomaceous earth is a product that is often food grade and extremely natural. This can be applied to the horse's stall as well as the horse's coat directly. It kills bugs and parasites effectively and quickly while posing no harm to your animals or you. Both our stores carry this product as well as a large 50 pound bag that may be a little more cost effective!
Some other products that would be a great addition would be some of our fly sprays that have some extra added ingredients that increase the range of pests they can kill.
These three fly sprays specifically are very effective in killing a broad range of pests.
Another tool that is very helpful to treat bots flies specifically are bot fly scarpers which we have in our stores for your convenience.
Please stop into either of our sites and we can help you get set up for success with your deworming! Our staff will be happy to help you out.
We’ll see you at the Coop!