Worms can be a serious issue for horses. A worm infestation can cause bloating, weight loss, poor condition, and other more serious health issues if left untreated. But, if you keep your horses on a regular deworming schedule, then you will have less of a problem to deal with. The problem now is choosing the best wormer for horses. The market offers various dewormers that choosing the right one can be confusing, especially with the hard-to-read brand names and the specific parasites they kill.
Important Factors to Consider
Worms can destroy your horse’s internal organs and cause unwanted health. So, you will have to be thorough about choosing the right dewormer for your dog. Here are some important factors you will need to consider when choosing the right one.
Type of Worms
First, you will need to be sure which worm has infected your horse. The term “worms” is used to define a broad variety of parasites. Not matching the dewormer with the type of wormer for horses can result in an ineffective treatment. Dewormers only work on the type of worms that it is meant for. Remember that no dewormer can kill all kinds of worms and only treats a range of worm types.
Here are some of the most common types of worms in horses:
Eggs are usually picked up by horses from contaminated bedding, water, feed and may also be present on grooming materials, tail wraps, and even stalls and fence posts. It is not as dangerous as other types of worms and usually causes itching around the horse’s tail and rectum.
Probably the most common and least worrisome type of all, tapeworms are contracted during grazing when your horse ingests mites found on plants and reside in the intestine, living off of the food which comes to them. Diarrhea and mild colic are the common symptoms of a horse infected with numerous tapeworms.
During the warm seasons, bot flies usually swarm around horses with the purpose of finding a place on the horse to lay eggs. After the eggs are laid, the horse may ingest them when it licks itself. Once ingested, these parasites attach themselves to the intestines, mouth, tongue or lips and burrow into these tissues, causing poor overall conditions and mild colic.
Ascarids or Roundworms
Quite dangerous to foals and horses under the age of two, ascarid larvae migrate into the blood vessels and carried to the lungs and liver when ingested. These immature worms will eventually get swallowed and mature in the small intestine, completing their life cycle. Since the larvae migrate through the lungs, young horses may develop a respiratory disease, colic and poor weight gain.
Bloodworms (Small and Large Strongyles)
Ingested by horses when grazing in pastures, blood worm egg hatch and climbs grass blades where they are swallowed. Older and young horses are more susceptible to encrusted small strongyles with larvae burrowing in the intestines. A huge number of small bloodworms may cause diarrhea, colic, weight loss and an overall poor condition.
Meanwhile, large bloodworms can be very dangerous to organs and weaken a horse’s abdominal artery walls. The most common symptoms include colic, weight loss, and diarrhea.
Threadworms can be highly dangerous to foals and young horses. Foals may be infected by nursing from a mare infected with larvae. These parasites live in the intestinal tract and may cause weakness and diarrhea in young horses.
Age of the Horse
It is strongly suggested that all foals should be dewormed initially at 1 – 2 months of age. After that, treatment needs to be repeated every 30 – 60 days until the age of one. At this time, the one-year-old horse can be placed on the same deworming schedule as other horses.
The Form and Type of Medicine
Dewormers for horses come in various forms— liquid, pellets, and the most common of all, paste. You will have to decide which one would be convenient for your horse. The pellet and liquid form should give you the opportunity to mix it up with a regular diet for easy feeding. Meanwhile, paste is the most favorite since they come in the right dosage and easy to administer on horse’s mouth.
Next, you will have to consider what kind of medication you should get. As I have mentioned before, horses no wormer can kill all kinds of parasite. Here are some type of medication and the parasites they kill:
Moxidectin Paste and Praziquantel
Removed and control small and large strongyles, pinworms, ascarids, stomach worms, hairworms, and bots.
Ivermectin Paste and Praziquantel
Removes and control small and large strongyles, hairworms, pinworms, lungworms, stomach worms, bots, and ascarids.
Removes and control small and large strongyles, pinworms and roundworms.
Removes and controls small and large strongyles, pinworms and ascarids.
Pyrantel Tartrate (Daily Dewormers)
Provides continuous protection from small and large strongyles, pinworms and ascarids.
Horse’s Weight and Dosage
Avoid the weight-guessing game when it is time to deworm your horse. Most wormers for horses comes in packs of granules or powder for adding to food or syringes for oral administration. They are clearly marked with dosing instructions based on the weight of your horse and needs to be followed carefully in order to avoid underdosing or overdosing.
In addition, you will have to consider carefully some individual needs such as foals, miniature breeds or horses with underlying health conditions. Ask your vet for suggestion if you are not so sure about this.
The Top 12 Best Wormers For Horses
Durvet Ivermectin Dewormer Paste
The Durvet Ivermectin paste is a super dewormer which provides a wide spectrum of protection. It has FDA-approval and treats many species and stages of parasites such as bots, strongyles, hairworms, ascarids, threadworms and more. It is great for first-time use, even if you do not know your horse’s worming history and is ideal to use in a rotational wormer schedule.
The generic 1.87 percent ivermectin paste wormer for horses is very economical to use, easy on the horse’s systems and is highly safe for all breeds and ages including lactating and pregnant mares. Each syringe contains a sufficient amount of paste to treat a 1,250-pound horse. The syringe plunger, however, features weight markings that allow you to calibrate the dose of your horse’s weight easily. In addition, each tube has a secure snap-lock ring, to ensure that dosing is accurate and reduce waste.
Panacur Fenbendazole Paste Wormer
This paste wormer from Panacur is a highly palatable wormer for horses offering an apple-cinnamon flavor. This 25 grams dewormer paste covers a wide spectrum of worms and is indicated to control large and small strongyles, ascarids, pinworms and arteritis in horses.
Very easy on the horse, the Panacur Fenbendazole Paste Wormer is perfect for sensitive horses and is safe on all breeds and ages of horses as well as lactating and pregnant mares. Made in the US, Panacur Paste Wormers is approved for use concomitantly with approved forms of trichlorfon for the treatment of bots in horses.
Merial Zimectrin Gold Dewormer Paste
An Amazon’s Choice for “horse dewormer”, the Zimectrin Gold Dewormer Paste is a popular and reputable brand that is safe for horses, foals over 5 months of age and breeding stallions. It is a potent, wide spectrum antiparasitic agent that is approved by the FDA. Each syringe is enough to treat up to 1,250 pounds of horse.
This dewormer paste can control and treat 47 species and stages of horse parasites including arterial stages of S. vulgaris and tapeworms with a single dose. The paste combines ivermectin that combines a broad variety of parasites with praziquantel which specifically controls tapeworms. Together, these two ingredients offer an excellent equine parasite control.
Horse Health Ivermectin
This ivermectin paste from Horse Health is an apple-flavored dewormer paste that your horse will surely love. It includes a 1 tube of 1.87 percent ivermectin paste that comes in a box. It’s a boticide and anthelmintic paste that controls most bots and worms as well as the deadly migrating stages of bloodworms.
It is also effective on small and large strongyles, ascarids, pinworms, hairworms, intestinal threadworms, lungworms and summer sores that are caused by Drachia spp and Habronema cutaneous third-stage larvae. This is an effective and safe paste on all horses including foals, stallions and broodmares with a single syringe can treat a 1,250-pound horse.
Made in the USA, you can use it every other month at least 6 times a year for total parasite control. There’s no need to rotate it with another wormer for horses.
PFIZER EQUINE PRODUCTS Quest Gel Moxidectin Horse Dewormer
Packaged in an easy-to-use, Sure-Dial Syringe, the Quest Gel is a palatable gel which is readily administered to ponies and horses. It specially formulated to provide horse owners an effective control and treatment against a wide spectrum of internal parasites such as bots. This is an excellent all-around wormer and is great for rotational use.
The Quest Gel contains high levels of Moxidectin which delays the reappearance of strongyle eggs for up to 84 days and control parasites with only 4 treatments every year. This is advertised as the only dewormer to kill small strongyle in the encysted state with a single dose.
Its clear and easy-to-use gel provides less mess and tress to both horses and owners. Take note, however, that the high levels of Moxidectin require extreme caution on ponies, minis, and foals in order to avoid an overdose.
Strongoid Horse Dewormer Paste
The Strongoid Horse Dewormer Paste is a pale yellow to buff paste that contains the active ingredient pyrantel pamoate. It is from the chemical class tetrahydropyrimidine and is unrelated to other classes of anthelmintics. This paste safely controls and treats various internal parasites including mature infections of small and large strongyles, pinworms and roundworms.
The dewormer paste is also shown effective against strongyle that is resistant to benzimidazoles. It comes in a convenient disposable syringe and is safe for use in ponies and horses, including young foals and lactating and pregnant mares. In addition, the syringe features marks on the plunger so you can administer the right dosage according to the horse’s body weight.
Safe-Guard Fenbendazole Dewormer Paste
The Safe-Guard Dewormer Paste features an artificial apple-cinnamon flavor that any horse will go crazy for. Each gram of this paste contains 100 mg of fenbendazole with an antiparasitic action that inhibits the energy metabolism of parasites.
The dewormer paste is indicated for the control and treatment of pinworms, arteritis caused by Strongylus vulgaris fourth stage larvae, ascarids, small strongyles, cyathostome third and fourth larvae stage, encysted early third stage and large strongyles. In addition, this dewormer is also approved for use concomitantly with an approved form of trichlorfon for controlling and treating stomach bots.
This 25 grams paste tube is enough to treat a 1,100-pound horse. Safe for horses even on pregnant mares and foals, it is effective for general parasite control in rotation schedule deworming.
Panacur PowerPac Paste Dewormer
Safe for all breeds and ages of horses, the Panacur PowerPac of 5 syringes offers a complete course of treatment for a 1,250-pound horse. This convenient and easy to use oral administration comes with a unique apple-cinnamon flavor that’s highly palatable to horses.
The coverage of this wormer for horses is even safe for a 5-day regiment for those horses with sensitivity to worms or with severe worm issues. The paste has a high degree of efficiency against all stages of encysted small strongyles. In addition, it is effective against large strongyles, pinworms, arteritis caused by strongyles vulgaris fourth stage larvae, ascarids, and mucosal cyathostome late third and fourth stage larvae.
The dewormer is safe for foals, older horses, pregnant mares, miniature horses, underweight and thin horses and for other farm animals and pet. The 57-gram syringes may also be effective for fenbendazole resistant parasite when used as part of a strategic anthelmintic program.
Safe-Guard Qui-Bits Equine Dewormer Pellets
The Equi-Bits is an alfalfa-based pellet that allows you to feed and deworm in one go. The pellets contain fenbendazole to control large and small strongyles, ascarids and pinworms. These deworming pellets are safe for all horses including pregnant mares and foals.
A single-dose treatment, the Equi-Bits makes rotational deworming easy. You only need to combine this with the ration of your choice. It can be used to replace usual daily ration when deworming. A single pouch is enough to control and treat a 1,250-pound horse.
Bimectin Ivermectin Horse Dewormer Paste
This Bimectin Paste features an apple flavor that horses will surely love and comes in a calibrated syringe for precise dosage marked in 250-pound increments. It contains ivermectin to treat arthropod or nematode infestations in horses that are sensitive to ivermectin.
It also controls small and large strongyles, ascarids, pinworms, lungworms, bots, hairworms, intestinal threadworms and more. Proven safe for breeding stallions, pregnant mares, and foals, a single syringe can treat a 1,250-pound horse.
Zoetis QuestPlus Equine Dewormer
This dewormer combines 12.5 percent praziquantel and 2 percent moxidectin. This formula helps control small and large strongyles, ascarids, hairworms, pinworms, tapeworms, and stomach bots.
Each syringe can be calibrated in 50-pound increments to prevent overdosage. A single syringe can be used to treat a 1,500-pound horse.
Pfizer Anthelcide EQ Dewormer Paste
The Anthelcide EQ Paste provides treatment and removal of various equine worms including pinworms, roundworms, and strongyles. Suitable for use in rotational deworming, the paste has a wide margin of safety in case of accidental overdose.
The paste comes conveniently packaged in a dial-type syringe and is a single dose is suitable for horse up to 1,200 pounds.
Keeping your horse parasite-free is essential for good condition and good overall health. Regular deworming using the right wormer for horses should help keep them in healthy, tip-top condition.