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Deworming Your Horse on a Regular Schedule Will Prevent Worms & Parasite Infestations

De-worming your horse is a multi tiered effort that cannot simply be done away with by administering a bit of de-wormer as you would do for a cat or dog. Instead, you will need to begin by carefully controlling the quantity of eggs as well as larvae your horse will pick up via its grazing.

In other words, you will need to carefully monitor and manage your animal’s environment. Managing the environment, on the other hand, will require you to observe very specific time period that you may let lapse between administering de-wormers.

By adhering to a specific interval, you will be able to decrease the number of eggs that the animal is releasing into its pasture, thus controlling the quantity of contaminants it will pick up again. At times the period of time between a de-worming treatment and the passing of

eggs is referred to as the egg reappearance period, also known as ERP. If you let the time period between de-wormings exceed the ERP, you will likely experience a larger number of eggs and larvae on your pasture.

There are of course a number of different de-wormers on the market, and each one may offer a different ERP. Horse owners will need to make sure that they are aware of the different time lapses that their specific de-wormer recommends before another treatment is sought. In addition to the foregoing, while there are de-worming medications which can be given daily, they have been the subject of much debate and are not generally recommended.

The reality of an infestation may be properly understood if one considers that a horse’s parasite will lay eggs in the intestinal tract that are then excreted via the stool. This manure ends up on your pasture, where the eggs hatch and larvae appear. These little parasites will find their way onto the grass – many of these small creatures may even inhabit one drop of dew – where they are picked up by a horse. Once ingested, the larvae will enter the animal’s intestinal tract where they will briefly hibernate before undergoing a change that will propel them into the next stage of life where the entire process will begin again. The affected horse will quite possibly present with diarrhea, fever, and also colic. Horse owners may at first believe that the feed is to blame and they may change it, further aggravating the horse’s affected intestinal tract.

Quite possibly the biggest problem with respect to equine parasites is the roundworm which affects quite often foals. The best policy here is a good prevention program. By putting your animal on a proper treatment schedule that runs every 30 to 45 days once the foal reaches one or two months of age, you will be able to banish this rather resistant infestation from your horse. To make certain that you have a good handle on any possible worm issues, it is wise to have your veterinarian conduct a semi-annual fecal egg count. This will permit you to tweak your de-worming program should it prove to be ineffective. Additionally, if you are able to rotate different animals into your pasture to break the parasites’ lifecycle, you may be able to get ahead of the game.

Read the next horse health tips article on Parasites.
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