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How To Administer Anthelmintic Drugs (Wormers) To Your Horse

There are several different internal parasites with varying life cycles that infect our horse. The worms are picked up the horse licking eggs off his forelegs (Bots) or eating larvae with infected grass.

The worms fall into three categories: -

  • Flatworm - these live in the horses bowel.
    • Liver Fluke
    • Tape Worm

  • Roundworms - these migrate through the internal organs, liver, lungs and blood vessels
    • Seatworms
    • White worms
    • Redworms (both large and small)

  • Bots - these migrate through the internal organs, liver, lungs and blood vessels .These not truly a parasitic worms. It is an insect that lays its eggs on the horse's legs, and the horse licks off the eggs. Once in the mouth they burrow into the tongue and gums to develop into larvae - these migrate to the stomach. Here they attach to the stomach wall to mature 'over winter'. In the spring, the crystalis is expelled with the dung and hatches into an insect known as a gadfly.

All horses suffer from some form of parasites. So that we do not spend money on feeding parasites is essential that the horse be wormed regularly. Treating the horse with an anthelmintic drug that kills the parasites can do this and some 'wormers' even prevent worms re-infecting the horse for several weeks.

The worm cycle and burden page has more information on the wormsand the worming diary has information on the types of wormer..

1. Tie up your horse. Make sure his mouth is empty, a ball of food at the back of his mouth will make it much easier for him to spit out the paste.

Ensure that your horse approves of his wormer!

2. Insert the syringe into the corner of the horse's mouth at an angle of about 45 degrees to his head, (there are no teeth there).

Open Wide!

3. Gently push the syringe into the horse's mouth and push the plunger. Wiggling the syringe around the mouth to spread the paste across his tongue. One large lump of paste is very easily spat out.

All Gone!

4. Lift the horse's head as you depress the plunger to encourage the horse to swallow the paste and keep his head up until he has swallowed the paste.

5. Check the syringe is empty to ensure the horse has had the correct dose. Any paste left in the syringe repeat steps 2 to 4.

How To Give Anthelmintic Granules To Your Horse.

1. Make up your horse's usual feed.

2. Sprinkle the powder into the middle of the feed and stir lightly to spread the powder through the feed. If you stir the feed too vigorously the worm powder will end up on the sides and bottom of the bowl and therefore the horse not receive the full dose.

3. Give the feed to the horse in the usual way and ensure that all is eaten before giving the horse any further food. Some horses are reluctant to eat worm granules - it may be necessary to add a little more feed to encourage the horse to finish the meal.

It is critical that the horse is wormed at the correct dose for his weight and height. Under treatment can lead to the worms becoming immune to a particular brand of treatment, thus producing a 'super-worm'.

If in any doubt consult you veterinary surgeon who will advise you.

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