Three Top Tips for Deworming Your Horse

Horse deworming and parasite control is an important part of your horse’s health care program. No doubt you will have a plan in mind as to what products you might use and when, but you obviously want it to be effective, so getting the correct dose into your horse is important! Here are some points that we think are worthwhile considering for effective horse deworming:

1. Get the dose right

Administering less than the recommended dose for your horse’s weight will mean that your treatment is ineffective. Check with your vet, but generally the safety margins of horse wormers are very high, so err on the side of giving a little more rather than less of the recommendation for your horse’s weight. Equine scales are clearly the most accurate way to determine your horse’s weight, however if you don’t have access to scales, a basic horse weight tape is a cheap and easy way to get a close estimate. Always take note of the weight that the wormer you are using covers. Some wormers treat only up to 550kg, and many warmbloods will weigh much more than that, so an additional tube may be required. It is also a good idea to keep an extra tube on hand, just in case the medication ends up on the ground, your hands, or all over the horse, instead of in its mouth! The wormer won’t work if it’s given in small doses over time; the entire dose needs to be ingested in one sitting for it to be effective.

2. Make sure his mouth is empty

It will be much easier for your horse to spit his medication out if he has food in his mouth. Hold the side of the halter with one hand, then use your finger to carefully (keep clear of his teeth) pull his lips back on the opposite side and check for any hay, grass or grain that may be there. Check the other side too. This is also a good opportunity to see how the horse feels about having things in and around his mouth, too!

3. Get it down!

Everyone has different places that they prefer to inject the wormer, depending on their horse. It doesn’t matter, as long as it gets swallowed. It is important, however, to do your best to not bump his teeth, gums or lips, as this is very unpleasant for the horse (and he’s likely to remember for next time!).

Start by holding the halter at one side. Gently insert the syringe into the corner of his lips, into the gap between his molars and incisors. Push the plunger to inject the paste directly onto the tongue, slowly, and pausing to allow your horse to swallow, all while leaving the syringe in the mouth as you pause.

See products here: Horse Wormers