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Treating and Controlling Worms in Horses

Controlling intestinal worms in horses is generally an easy process with the use of anthelmintics (wormers). There are a number of products available, but it is important to understand that all effective products will consist of one, or a combination of four different active ingredients (chemicals). The four main chemical groups that are used to treat worms in horses are;

  • Macrocyclic lactones (mectin based) – broad spectrum protection (not tapeworms)
  • Benzimidazoles – generally used for rotation worming
  • Praziquantel – specifically for tapeworm control
  • Tetrahydropyrimides – narrow spectrum wormer

Different products may be formulated using one or a combination of these ingredients and developed into liquids, gels, pastes or granules.

Controlling worms is essential for the health of your horse. The best way to do this is using a combination of a number of methods including:

  • Regular and appropriate worming program including a rotational wormer (changing the active ingredients/chemicals used)
  • Paddock management and hygiene, ie rotating paddocks, allowing rest periods, picking up faeces and managing pasture.
  • Doing faecal egg counts to determine if worms are present or being controlled

For more information on intestinal worms in horses please look in the vet-n-pet DIRECT Help Centre for a number of relevant articles. 

Originally published in My Pet Magazine Issue 16, Spring 2018.
To view all issues of My Pet Magazine click here.

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