Horse worming is an integral part of equine care. Here are some false truths about worming your horse.

Horse worming is an integral part of equine care.
Horse worming is an integral part of equine care.

One syringe of wormer would do just fine

Many equine dewormers exhibit different margins of safety. Usually, when wormers are given above the recommended dose, no harmful side effects occur. However, some dewormers may produce toxic side effects when given more than the recommended dose, especially when dealing with underweight, senior and weak horses. When dosing with a wormer, do not simply guess the dose, get an estimated weight of the horse by using a weight tape.

Giving the right dose gives you plenty of benefits. For one, you can avoid potential toxicity. Giving a horse more than the needed dose will not guarantee successful worm treatment and you only end up spending more money. If you also give less of the recommended dose, you cannot successfully eliminate the target and you are also contributing to the development of worm resistance to the drug.

Horses need to be confined for 24 hours following deworming

The right wormers can target susceptible equine parasites in the gastrointestinal tract. Eggs that are passed in the manure following deworming are dead and do not have the chance to infect the horse. It is pointless to confine a horse for 24 hours after giving him a dewormer. In fact, confining a horse that is accustomed to free grazing can increase the chance of developing colic.

Resistance is not of major concern; superior horse worming formulations are yet to be developed

In humans, certain bacteria have developed resistance against drugs like antibiotics and different drugs have been developed. In the equine industry, many equine parasites have already developed resistance to many of the commercial equine dewormers. Presently, the wormers remain to be effective against the parasites; however, if these wormers are not used correctly, resistance can develop. Currently, no new dewormers are being developed so there is a need to minimize the incidence of drug resistance by always using the right dewormers at the right time.

Harrowing pastures can control parasites

Harrowing only scatters horse manure, along with infective larvae and worm eggs. If your climate conditions are usually hot and dry, then the eggs and larvae will simply dry out and die off. But, if you are situated in an area where the predominant climate conditions are wet and mild, then harrowing can only spread out the infective larvae and eggs, giving more chance for horses to ingest them and increase worm burdens.

There is no need to pick up dung from the pasture

This is not true. One of the most effective means of parasite control is to clean the pasture regularly. Horse manure contains worm eggs and larvae that the horse may ingest, paving way for the parasite’s lifecycle to continue. This is an effective and simple way to control parasites which do not also harm the environment.