deworm cowgirl magazine

Deworming is a necessary part of horse ownership. Horses are constantly reinfecting themselves every time they graze in a pasture. Parasites are quite normal for your equine friend; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take measures to reduce their worm load. A strategic plan is necessary to keep parasites at bay!

A Fecal Egg Count

Many horse owners like to feed a daily dewormer or follow a routine schedule. That may work for some, but without a fecal egg count you could be targeting the wrong parasites. It will also tell you how often to deworm them.

Your veterinarian can perform a FEC or you can purchase a mail-in kit like SmartPak’s Equine Fecal Test Kit. Many like to use these in the spring as parasites start to become more active.

The results will inform you if your horse is a low, medium, or high egg-shedder. If your horse is above 500, then they’re a high shredder and will need to be frequently dewormed.

With your vet’s help and this chart from Zoetis, you’ll be able to decide what dewormers to use.

It can be a good idea to follow up after you deworm. This is known as a fecal egg count reduction test, which should be performed 14 days after deworming.

Good pasture management should also be considered in your deworming strategy. Picking up manure regularly can help immensely. Additionally, rotating their pastures and avoiding overgrazing are smart ideas!

It’s time to put your plan into action!