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Worming

It is the time of year when all horses should be wormed against encysted red worms, regardless of what worming programme they are on.

Horse worms
Picture courtesy of Horse and Hound

Results from this year’s National Equine Health Survey have shown that many owners are not aware of how to worm their horses effectively against encysted red worms – which are an important parasite that can cause serious illness.
Once the weather gets colder, the larval stages of this worm bury themselves in the lining of the horse’s colon. This can cause significant disease in the Spring, as once the weather warms up the worms emerge en masse. This frequently results in colic and diarrhoea; in many cases this can be fatal.

Horse worming
Picture courtesy of Horse and Hound

To prevent this, horses need to be wormed in late autumn to early winter with a wormer effective against encysted red worms. The two drugs that are effective are Moxidectin (Equest), or a five day course of Fenbendazole (Panacur Equine Guard). We recommend that horses are wormed with one of these products after the first hard frost.

Panacur
Because there are few drugs effective against this important worm species, it is important to use these drugs carefully in order to prevent worms becoming resistant to them. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that Equest is only used at this time of year, unless recommended in special circumstances.
These worming products are all effective against encysted red worm.

More information is available on our recommended worming programme.