Worming: Worming Programmes

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A diagnostic-led, targeted worming programme and only worming your horse when necessary is better for your horse and reduces the risk of resistance to the ingredients used in wormers.

A basic targeted worming programme

The worming programme for individual horses may vary depending on their age, pasture management, previous worming history and worm burden. However, a basic targeted worming programme for an adult horse may look like this:

  • Spring/summer grazing season (March – September):Carry out a faecal worm egg count approximately every 12 weeks. Your vet will be able to recommend an appropriate wormer if your horse needs to be treated.
  • Once the grazing season is over and the weather starts to get colder (October – December), this is the best time to test for tapeworm and carry out a risk assessment, and possibly a blood test, for the presence of encysted small redworm. These tests will determine whether you need to treat your horse for either of these parasites, neither of which can be identified using a faecal worm egg count.
  • It is then recommended that you carry out a faecal worm egg count 12 weeks after testing/treating your horse in the Autumn/Winter.

If the worming history of a horse is unknown or the horse is starting on the worming programme, then your vet may suggest treating with moxidectin once and then following the targeted worming programme. This also applies to new arrivals on the yard.

There are also other things you should do to help reduce your horse’s worm burden, such as regular poo picking, rotating grazing paddocks, not overstocking pasture and grazing horses with other livestock. Find out more Worming: Top Tips For Worm Control – Horse Health Programme

The worming of foals and horses up to two years old differs from that of adult horses. Speak to your vet for advice on worming youngstock.