Why do we need to Deworm horses
Deworming is a process that removes internal parasites in horses. It is an essential part of equine management. Misuse of such medications, such as giving insufficient dosage, can result in the development is drug resistance.
While it is usually not a major problem for horses to be a host to these parasites. They could pose a very serious problem when infestation is left uncontrolled. Especially in foals, yearlings, pregnant mares, older or debilitated horses. Some of the side effects of being infested include poor hair coat, pneumonia, colic, and diarrhea.
There are more than 150 various types of parasites which can affect equines; however, only a few types of intestinal worms pose a real threat to horses. The four most common equine parasites that would demand attention include roundworms, small strongyles, large strongyles, and tapeworms. Thread worms can also be found but these worms are not typically too much of a threat and infestations by these worms are temporary and only affect foals. Other common parasites found in horses are bots (larval stage of adult botflies) and pinworms.
Deworming horses is most commonly accomplished through the use of anthelmintics – drugs that kill and eliminate parasites. There are various anthelmintic products being offered and these products usually contain similar ingredients. But, only few of these drugs can be highly effective against parasites in horses. Furthermore, not all of these drugs can be effective against all the major types of internal parasites. There are four major classes of dewormers namely macrocyclic lactones (moxidectin, ivermectin), tetrahydropyrimidines (pyrantel pamoate), benzimidazoles (oxibendazole, febendazole), and prazion-izoquinolines (Praziquantel). Each of these groups have specific efficacy against specific parasites at specific doses.
It is imperative to find deworming products that remain effective for your horses. Please consult your veterinarian for assistance regarding diagnosis, treatment and control of parasites as their local knowledge is invaluable. Deworming horses does not necessarily mean that parasites will be removed completely after each dosing. The main goal of this treatment is to minimize the chance of future infestations through reduction of the worm population that is found to be ineffective. The best approach is to choose the treatment that works without increasing intensity of treatment.
Ivermectin is effective against all parasites and migrating strongyle larvae but not tapeworms, while Praziquantel is specifically effective in targeting tapeworms. When these two classes are combined, there is effective elimination of the common parasites with just one dose.