Horses who have worms can experience serious issues. An infestation of worms can lead to weight loss, poor condition, bloating, and even more serious problems if it is left untreated. However, keeping your horse on a deworming schedule will prevent many of these issues before they can take hold.
The only issue is knowing which product is the best horse dewormer (also known for best horse wormer ) on the market. There are tons of different options, which can make it confusing to decide which is the best. This can be even more of an issue when it’s hard to understand the brand names and which parasites each dewormer works for.
What Types of Worms Are There?
Worms can cause damage to a horse’s organs and create health issues. That’s why choosing the right dewormer is crucial. Understanding which worm your horse is infected with is the first step to doing the right thing.
- Pinworms – Pinworms often come from eggs horses pick up from contaminated water, feed, and bedding. This type of worm is not as dangerous as others and will cause itching around the horse’s rectum and tail.
- Tapeworms – This is the most common and least worrying sort of worm and can be contracted during grazing when a horse ingests mites. Mild colic and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of this kind of worm.
- Bots – When it’s warm outside, bot flies swarm horses to lay eggs on them. After the eggs are present, a horse may ingest them when licking itself. The parasites can then attach to the mouth, lips, tongue, and intestines, causing mild colic and poor conditions.
- Roundworms or Ascarids – These worms can be dangerous to young horses under two and migrate into the blood vessels when ingested. They then get carried to the liver and lungs before maturing in the small intestine. This worm can cause poor weight gain, respiratory disease, and colic.
- Small Bloodworms – These worms are ingested when a horse grazes, and both young and old horses are susceptible to the larvae burrowing into the horse’s intestines. Small bloodworms in large amounts can cause weight loss, diarrhea, colic, and poor condition.
- Large Strongyles – These are large bloodworms and can be extremely dangerous to the horse’s organs and even weaken their abdominal artery walls. The common symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, and colic.
Comparing our Top Wormer Picks
Feed Dewormer vs. Paste Dewormer
The best horse wormer for your needs may vary from someone else’s. Dewormers come in many forms, including liquid, paste, and pellets. The most commonly available form is a paste, but it may not always be the right answer for your horse. With liquid or pellet form, you get the option to mix the dewormer into the horse's regular diet for an easy feeding experience. However, paste comes in specific dosages and can easily be given to the horse by mouth.
Once you consider the administration option you prefer, you’ll want to consider which medication is appropriate. No wormer is available that can kill every type of parasite. The four we’re going to review below will beat many of them, and we’ll explain which is best for which situation.
Top 4 Horse Wormer for Spring, Summer, Fall
Our horse wormer reviews will give you insight into the four best horse wormers you can find on the market today. We’ll share information about each product, what its best features are, and what pros and cons you can expect from it. Then you can make a decision that works for you and your horse.
#1) Merck Animal Safe Guard 25 Gram Paste Equine Dewormer-
Merck’s 25 Gram Paste contains the active ingredients of fenbendazole and anthelmintic. Each gram of the medication contains 100mg of fenbendazole and is flavored using an apple-cinnamon liquid.
This paste can be used for many types of parasites, which makes it a great choice for regular use. It can control large strongyles, as well as pinworms, ascarids, small strongyles, encysted early third stage, late third stage, and fourth stage cyathostome larvae.
It can also be used for arteritis related to fourth-stage larvae of Strongylus vulgaris in horses.
The Safe Guard paste is administered orally, and a single syringe can deworm a hose weighing 1,100 pounds. It also has doses for weanlings and foals, as well as smaller horses. This is a simple medicine to administer, as well you need to do is determine the horse's weight, remove the syringe tip, turn the dial ring, and depress the plunger.
1. Features an apple cinnamon taste for less waste
2. Effective against ascarids, pinworms, small strongyles, and large strongyles
3. Works well for general parasite control in a rotational worming routine
#2) Durvet 12-Pack Ivermectin Dewormer Paste for Horses-
If you have a herd of more than two or three horses, this dewormer paste is a great option. It is effective and takes only a single dose to work.
This is a syringe wormer that comes with a flavor that horses enjoy: apple. It will not be something horses instantly spit out, which means it is more likely to help with their worms. A single syringe is ideal for a horse of 1,250 pounds, which is more than enough for an average-sized horse.
With a few horses, you can worm regularly without worrying about reaching the expiration date.
Some find that syringe pastes are more convenient than pellet worming. The reason is that it ensures you give the exact right dose to your horse. When using pellets, it can be more challenging to determine if the full dose has been taken. However, keep in mind that some people who have purchased this medication have received 10 doses instead of 12.
1. Comes in a convenient bulk buy option with 12 separate doses
2. It can remove bots and certain types of worms with one single dose.
3. Features an apple flavor that most horses will enjoy consuming
#3) Merial Zimecterin Gold Dewormer Paste for Horses-
This Zimecterin Gold has the same bot and worm-killing powers as traditional Zimecterin paste, but it also offers the ability to kill tapeworms.
This medication for your horses is effective against lungworms, small and large strongyles, stomach worms, pinworms, hairworms, and roundworms. It’s able to be safely be administered to any horse that is two months of age or older.
A single dose is effective with eliminating bots and worms from a horse. It is provided orally for ease of use and a single dose is acceptable for horses that weigh up to 1,250 pounds.
This paste is approved for use controlling the most species and stages of horse parasites when compared to all other brands. It can even fight against benzimidazole-resistant small strongyles. It contains a 7.35 gm syringe with 1.55% Ivermectin and 7.75% Praziquantel.
1. Can remove roundworms, tapeworms, and bots through a single dose
2. Paste can treat horses of up to 1,250 pounds of body weight
3. Potent broad-spectrum agent is approved to eliminate up to 61 species and states of parasites
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Wormer for Horses
There are several things to think about when you are choosing the best horse dewormer. We’ll share the most important features to watch for when making a purchase option:
How to Know a Horse Has Worms
Even if a horse seems to be in great health, it can be infected by worms. Some of the most common signs of infection include:
- Dull coat
- Lack of appetite
- Loss of condition
- Loss of weight
The best way to determine whether your hose has worms is to have your vet perform a blood test and fecal egg count. This will confirm whether the horse has worms, what species of parasites are present, how many adult worms are in the intestine, and how badly your herd may be infected.
The blood test measures certain chemicals in the blood that are created based on inflammation from the migration of larvae.
Ways to Control Worms in Horses
There are three different things required to control worms and parasites effectively. This may vary based on your specific horse, so your vet should help you. Whatever they recommend should supersede any other information since every horse is different. However, the three major steps are listed below:
1. Manage the pasture – This involves keeping the level of larvae and eggs to a minimum. This can be done by regularly properly disposing of feces. Allowing your horse to roam in different pastures on a rotational basis can also help. Managing the pasture also can be done by avoiding ground feeding and instead feeding hay or grain from a rack.
2. Monitoring the level of fecal egg counts – You should be regularly monitoring the fecal egg counts of your horses. This is because the parasites present need to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. This will help you create and adhere to an effective schedule of horse deworming.
3. Worm your horses – The last step in the control of parasites involves worming your horses. Having the top horse wormer and using it regularly will ensure that any adult worms in the intestine are removed. It also reduces the change that parasites will infect the horse again since it lowers the number of worm larvae in the horse’s feces.
The Weight of the Horse
When you are going to deworm your horse, you don’t want to guess how much your horse weighs. It is important to provide the right dose to ensure you get rid of the parasites, as too little may not work and too much can cause an adverse reaction. Many horse wormers come in packs of powder or pellets that you add to food or come with syringes for oral administration.
These are marked with the correct dosing based on the weight of the horse, which needs to be followed correctly. You also want to consider the special health needs of horses with health issues, foals, or miniature breeds. If you aren’t sure about these things, talk to your vet for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even knowing the basics of what worms are and which products are often used for them, you may have other questions. Some of the most common ones are answered below for your convenience.
Why do you need to use a dewormer?
Horses and ponies often have parasites that bed down and live in their intestines. A small number of worms will not cause a major problem in wellbeing. However, a larger number of worms are present can cause serious issues including colic, diarrhea, and even death.
Both pasture management and medication administration can help keep the horse’s immune system at its best, which helps keep the population of worms under control. Keep in mind that some horses have a better immune response to worms than others. Some are going to be more susceptible to worms than others.
To prevent parasitic worms, having a worming schedule that you adhere to is one of the most important things you can possibly do.
Why should I work with my vet and rotate dewormers?
You might wonder why your vet wants you to rotate dewormers. Your vet might indicate a best horse wormer for spring and a completely different one for fall. This is completely normal and has its reasoning. When you use different dewormers, you get better coverage since every dewormer has a different level of efficiency against specific parasites at different life cycles.
When you rotate dewormers, horses have better coverage against the major kinds of internal parasites. In addition, rotation can prevent parasites from becoming resistant to deworming products. Overusing one product may create parasites that are not affected as much by it, which can lead to larger problems.
What health issues do worms and parasites cause?
Different parasites can cause different health issues to a horse. When a horse is infected by worms, it may experience things like itchy tails and rectums, weight loss, low performance, diarrhea, skin sores, colic, and unthrifty coats. However, not all parasites can lead to all of the symptoms.
For example, large strongyles can cause colic, weight loss, and diarrhea, while tapeworms can cause colic, anemia, and unthriftiness. On the other hand, bot flies can cause ulcers in the horse’s stomach. This is why it’s so important to deworm your horses and rotate treatment options to handle all sorts of worms and parasites.
When should you deworm a horse?
The schedule for deworming a horse is going to be different for every horse. The traditional treatment option involves deworming once every two months with rotating medications. However, some horses can be dewormed just twice and year and get by fine. Some of the factors relating to when to deworm include:
- Age – Young or old animals may need deworming more often as they have less resistance to contamination.
- Health – Horses with good health may not need as much deworming, while those who are ill may need more treatments.
- Herd Size – Deworming may be needed less if you only have one horse, but having several animals may mean more frequent worming treatments.
- Pasture Condition – A small, dirty pasture will have more parasites than a large, treated field. Keeping the pasture clean may mean less deworming is needed.
- Climate – Worms live best in moist, warm environments, so horses in areas that are dry and cold may need less deworming.
- Exposure to Other Horses – If your horse contacts unfamiliar horses, they may need more frequent deworming.
Treating your animals with the best wormer for horses using a proper deworming schedule is the best way to manage and get rid of parasites in your horses. Using the correct medicine is crucial to treat the right condition. Rotating the horse wormers is recommended to prevent the problem of parasites building resistance to drugs.
This is why it’s important to speak with your veterinarian before you begin a worming program. Once you have a schedule set up and in place, it’s best to stick with it unless your vet asks you to modify things in some way. If you keep up with regular deworming, you can keep your horses in healthy, fantastic condition the whole year round.
Thank you for reading our reviews on best horse wormer for spring, summer, fall and more. You can also take a look at our review for horse fly spray and also for a good saddle pad for your horse if you need.