The New Deworming Method for Horses

by Caitlyn Andrews May 03, 2017

New Horse Deworming Method

There are so many equine dewormers on the market that it can be confusing deciding which one you should use for your horse. Traditionally, it was recommended that you rotate dewormers every two months to cover a broad range of parasites. More often vets are recommending that you follow a new approach when deworming.

Why the New Deworming Method?

Recently, vets and other equine professionals are looking at a more customized approach to deworming. As parasite resistance to dewormers builds up some horse owners now rely on fecal egg counts to determine when/what to deworm their horses with as opposed to the traditional two-month dewormer rotation.

Whichever method you choose for keeping your horse parasite free, it is best to discuss it with your veterinarian first. Your vet will know which parasites are a problem in your specific area and help you determine which method is best for caring for your horse.

Traditional Rotational Deworming

Traditional rotational deworming involves deworming your horse every two months. Rotational deworming attempts to control a broad spectrum of internal parasites by rotating dewormers with different active ingredients that target specific parasites.

Below is a chart that you can reference if you are following a traditional deworming schedule. However, keep in mind that this chart is for your reference only and it is recommended that you discuss your horse's deworming schedule with your vet before treating.

Time of Year Compound Recommended Product
January/February Pyrantel Exodus, Quest Plus
March/April Benzimidazole Safe-Guard
May/June Ivermectin Agrimectin
July/August Pyrantel Exodus, Quest Plus
September/October  Benzimidazole Safe-Guard
November/December Ivermectin Agrimectin

Fecal Egg Count Deworming Method

The new method for deworming horses involves having a vet analyze your horse's fecal egg count. Having this done will help diagnose which parasites need to be treated as well as determine how effective your deworming program is. The vet will also consider your horse's age, health, living situation, and travel frequency when deciding on a custom deworming schedule for your horse.

If you decide to control your horse's parasites by using the fecal count method then be sure to order the appropriate dewormer after consulting with your vet. Refer to the chart below to see which dewormers target which parasites to determine what dewormer will work best for your situation. 

Dewormer Active Ingredient  Parasites Targeted
Agrimectin Ivermectin Large and small strongyles, Bots, Pinworms, Ascarids, Threadworms, Pinworms, Small bloodworms, Hairworms, Lungworms, Large-Mouth Stomach Worms.
Exodus Pyrantel Pamoate Large and small strongyles, Pinworms, Large roundworms
Quest Plus Praziquantel/Moxidectin Large and small strongyles, Encysted cyathostomes, Ascarids, Pinworms, Hairworms, Large-mouth stomach worms, Stomach bots, Tapeworms
Safe-Guard Fenbendazole Large and small strongyles, Pinworms, Encysted Cyathostomes, Ascarids

Parasite Control Tips

Having your horse on an appropriate deworming schedule will go a long way in keeping your horse happy and healthy. Keep in mind there are additional ways other than deworming to keep the parasites in check.

Pasture Management for Parasite Control

Keep pastures maintained to prevent parasites in your facility.

Good pasture management will also help reduce larvae and eggs that can infect your horse. Rotate pastures that horses are turned out in if possible. Keep pastures mowed or harrowed. Remove droppings from the fields. All of these things will make pastures less "parasite friendly".

Keeping stalls cleaned and enforcing an insecticide program (whether that be fly baits, traps, or sprays) will also help reduce the parasite numbers around the barn. Above all, don't be afraid to consult with your vet with any questions you have about parasite control.



Caitlyn Andrews
Caitlyn Andrews

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