Worming

The key objectives of a worming programme are to minimise the worm problem that your horse has to cope with, and so help to optimise the horse's health and performance.  Also we are trying to make the pasture safer for horses to graze on.

Worms can cause fatal colic, weight loss, poor performance, rough coat, pot belly and stunted growth.

It is worth getting advice from your vet surgeon to develop a worm control policy.  This will be based upon many factors including the type and age of horses that you have, your stocking density and the frequency with which horses come and go from your premises.  Effective parasite control depends upon both management of grazing to minimise worm egg and larval contamination and the use of wormers to remove parasites from the horses' intestines.  One cannot be adequately effective without the other.

The best known practice has been to worm horses every 6 - 8 weeks. 

Annual Worming Schedule

January to March Routine worming
April       Tapeworm
May to September Routine worming
October     Tapeworm
November   Encysted Redworm
December Bot worming


This is a general outline for an annual worming schedule.

Resistance to worming products is a growing problem and one which can be slowed with the selection of an appropriate worming product at the appropriate time.  Regular assessment of faecal worm egg counts (every 3 months as a guide) can be used to determine the best worming strategy, however they do not give an accurate picture of tapeworm burden, for which a blood test is needed.  It may be more difficult to manage all the horses in larger commercial yards with shared grazing etc. on this basis so an integrated routine worming plan often works best.

  • Treat twice yearly for tapeworms (spring and autumn).  Tapeworms are unlikely to affect youngsters under 2 months of age
  • Treat once yearly treatment to kill encysted cyathostomes (a 5 day treatment)
  • Treatment at regular intervals (every 6-8 weeks) for all other worms throughout grazing season
  • Treatment for lungworm if sharing grazing with donkeys
  • Regular collection of droppings from pasture (minimum weekly, ideally daily!)
  • Avoid overgrazing which forces horses into the areas contaminated by droppings
  • Worm all new horses when they enter the yard and keep in for 48 hours
  • Avoid mixing ages of horses, as youngstock have higher worm burdens
  • Treat all horses with the same drug at the same time to reduce resistance
  • Dose horses as accurately as possible using a weigh tape to act as a guide
  • When choosing the base routine wormer it is important to change chemical group and not just manufacturer on a yearly basis (not every time)

The key objectives of a worming programme are to minimise the worm problem that your horse has to cope with, and so help to optimise the horse's health and performance.  Also we are trying to make the pasture safer for horses to graze on.

Worms can cause fatal colic, weight loss, poor performance, rough coat, pot belly and stunted growth.

It is worth getting advice from your vet surgeon to develop a worm control policy.  This will be based upon many factors including the type and age of horses that you have, your stocking density and the frequency with which horses come and go from your premises.  Effective parasite control depends upon both management of grazing to minimise worm egg and larval contamination and the use of wormers to remove parasites from the horses' intestines.  One cannot be adequately effective without the other.

The best known practice has been to worm horses every 6 - 8 weeks. 

Annual Worming Schedule

January to March Routine worming
April       Tapeworm
May to September Routine worming
October     Tapeworm
November   Encysted Redworm
December Bot worming


This is a general outline for an annual worming schedule.

Resistance to worming products is a growing problem and one which can be slowed with the selection of an appropriate worming product at the appropriate time.  Regular assessment of faecal worm egg counts (every 3 months as a guide) can be used to determine the best worming strategy, however they do not give an accurate picture of tapeworm burden, for which a blood test is needed.  It may be more difficult to manage all the horses in larger commercial yards with shared grazing etc. on this basis so an integrated routine worming plan often works best.

  • Treat twice yearly for tapeworms (spring and autumn).  Tapeworms are unlikely to affect youngsters under 2 months of age
  • Treat once yearly treatment to kill encysted cyathostomes (a 5 day treatment)
  • Treatment at regular intervals (every 6-8 weeks) for all other worms throughout grazing season
  • Treatment for lungworm if sharing grazing with donkeys
  • Regular collection of droppings from pasture (minimum weekly, ideally daily!)
  • Avoid overgrazing which forces horses into the areas contaminated by droppings
  • Worm all new horses when they enter the yard and keep in for 48 hours
  • Avoid mixing ages of horses, as youngstock have higher worm burdens
  • Treat all horses with the same drug at the same time to reduce resistance
  • Dose horses as accurately as possible using a weigh tape to act as a guide
  • When choosing the base routine wormer it is important to change chemical group and not just manufacturer on a yearly basis (not every time)
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Ballyclare Hospital
75 Ballynure Road
Ballyclare
BT39 9AG
028 9332 2223

Abbey Clinic
163 Doagh Road
Whiteabbey
BT36 6AA
028 9036 5573
Cavehill Clinic
136 Cavehill Road
Belfast
BT15 5BU
028 9071 8134

Carrick Clinic
Unit 1 Victoria Road,
Shopping Centre,
Carrickfergus, 
BT38 7JE



                                                   

Ballyclare Hospital
75 Ballynure Road
Ballyclare
BT39 9AG
028 9332 2223

Abbey Clinic
163 Doagh Road
Whiteabbey
BT36 6AA
028 9036 5573
Cavehill Clinic
136 Cavehill Road
Belfast
BT15 5BU
028 9071 8134

Carrick Clinic
Unit 1 Victoria Road,
Shopping Centre,
Carrickfergus, 
BT38 7JE