To de-worm or not de-worm…..
We recommend a combination of deworming with the most effective products available and testing manure for presence of parasite eggs.Worms can develop a resistance to one de-wormer if it is given all of the time or if you underdose the horse. Traditionally we have done this by rotating de-wormers. Ask us about a rotation schedule.
Better yet, doing fecal exams to look for worm eggs in manure samples is the best way to tell if your program is working. Testing for worm eggs will also detect the horses that harbour the most worms and shed the most eggs. Often this may only be one or two in a herd. Deworming these more often and the others less often is a viable way to cut your costs and slow down development of resistance.
Worms thrive in moist, warm environments and are more active reproductively at this time of year so you must get serious about de-worming all of your horses in the spring and summer.
If your horse absolutely hates being de-wormed, take an old syringe, wash it out and fill it with something yummy like applesauce or molasses and water. Squirt this in your horse’s mouth every once in a while. Soon, he might not mind being de-wormed so much.
If you haven’t de-wormed your horse in a while, cut down on his hard feed (pellets, sweet feed) the day before, the day of and the day after his de-worming. The de-wormer may kill a lot of worms which could get stuck in his intestines. You don’t want large quantities of digested feed getting stuck behind the worm blockage because this causes colic.
When you use a paste de-wormer, put the syringe in the corner of your horse’s mouth and aim for the back of his tongue. Squirt the paste in one quick motion, making sure that your horse’s mouth is empty before administering. After squirting the de-wormer paste into your horse’s mouth, hold his head up for a moment to make sure he doesn’t spit it right out!
Horse de-wormer can make a dog really sick, so make sure you clean up any spilt paste and throw syringes away after they are used.