It is important to ensure your horse is on an efficient worming program. Worms are an occupational hazard in a horse’s life and their control is of paramount importance. Your horse’s health depends on it.
Due to increasing concern of parasite resistance we strongly recommend a fecal count prior to the beginning of any worming program. Studies and experience have shown that certain wormers (benzimidazoles) are no longer effective because of developed resistance in the small strongyle worm population. Other wormers have narrow toxicity margins that can endanger your horse’s health. Fecal counts are a simple and inexpensive way of determining whether your horse is in need of worming. To have a fecal count done, simply bring in a small (1 manure ball), fresh sample of manure from the horse you wish to test, it is then sent to the lab to be processed and we will have results within a day or two. If your horse’s sample comes back with a high count, we will recommend a safe (for your horse and the environment) and effective wormer.
All foals should be wormed monthly starting at 1 month of age. We recommend monthly dosing with Eqvalan liquid at 1 cc for every month of age. Giving a double dose of Pyrantel (Strongid–T) on alternate months makes sense to control adult roundworms and tapeworms.
Monthly worming prevents a great percentage of colic and respiratory diseases. Foals benefit tremendously in terms of growth, feed efficiency and general appearance by controlling strongyles and ascarids. Twice the normal dose of Strongid-T is safe and controls tapeworms.
Moxidectin (Quest) can replace Eqvalan after four months but it is better to wait until ten months. It is stored in fat deposits which are scarce in younger foals and the formulation is twice as strong which can result in dosing miscalculations.
At the yearling stage, intermittent (every three months) moxidectin (Quest) treatments are considered ideal since the latter is needed to kill off bots in the summer/fall season. Otherwise, every six weeks is needed if using Ivermectin and every month is necessary if using Strongid-T liquid.
In the adult horse, Quest is currently the best overall wormer (no known resistance and kills a wide variety of worms at all stages of their life cycle including most encysted larvae.) The gel formulation melts in the horse’s mouth (not in your hands) and is easily administered. Quest Plus is also the most effect way to protect against tapeworms. It can be administered on a bi-annual schedule and is usually administered going into spring and then six months later in fall.