Deworming Broodmares - that is the question

To paraphrase The Bard, to worm or not to worm that is often the question. If you Google when and how to deworm your horse, you'll get all sorts of conflicting answers. The advice is simpler when it comes to deworming broodmares and foals, but it is often buried in scientific studies and papers. Your veterinarian can answer all your questions in detail, but we're hoping to offer you a set of general guidelines.

A cyclical process

April, July, and October are the months you should be keeping track of fecal egg counts in your horse's poop. While you can do testing yourself, it's probably easier, faster and far less stressful to get your vet clinic to the dirty work. The numbers can tell you what your next step should be, whether you should worm or not. While you can perform a scheduled deworming, this runs the risk of the parasites becoming desensitized to the medications such as bacteria have to antibiotics. At some point during the winter, you should deworm for roundworms and tapeworms due to the juvenile worms not being able to be monitored via fecal egg count and spring worm activity can adversely affect broodmares, foals, and your entire herd.

Pregnant mares can pass on worm larvae to their foals soon after they give birth. It is often recommended that you monitor a pregnant mares fecal egg count during the pregnancy and give dose with ivermectin within the last month of gestation, often a week or so before the due date. Of course, horse mothers are much like human mothers and don't keep well to a predicted birth schedule.

Deworming  broodmares shouldn't be done until a couple of weeks after giving birth. You'll most likely want to give her a dose of ivermectin about eight weeks after the pre-giving birth dose. Moxidectin should not be given until thirteen weeks after the last dose.

What's best for the Foals

Foals are at their highest risk after birth, most likely to catch their mother's worms which is why you want to dose the mare before the end of her pregnancy. Foals themselves shouldn't be wormed until they're six weeks of age. After they're six weeks okay, you will probably want to give your foal a dose of Panacur or ivermectin.

Young horses are particularly at risk from high worm levels and should be carefully monitored. As always, your veterinarian is there to help and can answer questions that are specific to your horse. For an easy to dose, reliable and cost effective deworming solution, Abler is here to help.