Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Choosing a Horse Wormer

There are so many kinds and brands of wormers on the market that it’s hard to know which to use on your horse (brand name or generic?), how much to give, how often to give it, what're you protecting against...it can be very confusing.

How does one choose among ivermectin, equimectrin, pyrantel, panacur, benzimidazole, tapecare? What do you want to protect your horse from? There are many parasites: Tapeworms, strongyles, pinworms, roundworms, bots, to name only a few.

Kinds of Wormers

Ivermectin is used for the control of a wide range of worms, some of which are:

  • large strongyles
  • pinworms
  • hairworms
  • threadworms and
  • bots.

Pyrantel pamoate and benzimidazole protect against:

  • large and small strongyles
  • pinworms, and
  • roundworms.


Zimecterin Gold, Tape Care Plus, and a couple others work on controlling tapeworms.

What if your horse is out at a boarding facility interacting with many horses? Or, what if he’s pretty isolated at home with just your own animals?

For our horses here at home, our veterinarian recommends quarterly worming with ivermection, using Zimecterin Gold in the spring and again in the fall. But my mare - boarded at a stable - gets wormed monthly, rotating among ivermectin, pyrantel, Zimecterin Gold and benzimidazole. I have also asked the vet about the use of paste wormers versus tube worming. It’s his advice that tube worming by a vet used to be the best way to go, but now the paste wormers are so good and efficient that's all he recommends. But, of course, you should consult your own vet regarding this.

Now that you're armed with information on the different types of wormers, all that's left to do is successfully get all of the worming paste into your horse's mouth...and until you try it, you won't believe it's actually the hardest part about worming a horse!

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