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By guest author Thomas Brown,

What Is Deworming Your Horse: Things To Consider

Worms are a common problem among many species, and horses are not an exception.

These parasites can live in the intestines for a long period of time and you can not even know about it. A low number of worms make no harm to a horse, however, excessive parasites may cause severe health issues. Thus, it’s vital to discover the problem before at an early stage.

Two horses grazing

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You should constantly keep your horse’s well-being under the radar to control the population. Therefore, we decided to outline some crucial aspects that have to be considered about horse deworming.

A horse in a pasture scratching its leg

Image by rihaij on Pixabay

Disclaimer does not warrant the accuracy or timeliness of any of the information found on the website, and does not accept liability for errors or omissions.

In addition, anything found on is not intended to replace veterinary care for your horse or other animals. Always consult a veterinarian or other trained animal health care professional regarding any information that may be found here, and/or regarding the health or health care of your animals.

The Most Common Types of Worms

There are several species of parasites that could be found in horses. These worms can get into an animal in different ways and cause a range of symptoms.

Strongyloides Westeri

Strongyloides Westeri is a threadworm that infects young foals. The parasites are transmitted from mares with milk. Thus, it’s crucial to check a gestated mare for worms on an ongoing basis. If the helminths (worms) are under control, the foal will develop a strong immune system to handle the worms. In case of severe infection, diarrhea and dermatitis may occur.

Larval Cyathostomes

These are small red worms that can be eaten by a horse with grass on pasture. The larvae reproduce in the large intestine, then they grow up and lay eggs. The eggs come out with horse’s feces and they become larvae over time. That’s the lifecycle of Larval Cyathostomes.

This species needs specific conditions to start growing. Usually, they start developing in spring when it’s getting warmer. Until that time, they may survive in the intestine. The common symptoms of the redworms are diarrhea, weight loss, gas, colic, and lethargy.

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Strongylus Equinus is a species of large red worms that have a similar lifecycle to Larval Cyathostomes. They could be swallowed with grass when a horse is grazing around. When the larvae hit the recipient, they go through the blood vessels of the liver and intestine. This may lead to inflammation and vessel obstruction. The mains symptoms include diarrhea, gas, and colic.


As its name implies, the lungworms (Dictyocaulus Arnfieldi) is a parasite that may be found in the lungs. Usually, donkeys can transmit the larvae to horses, however, the horse-to-horse transmission also takes place. When the donkey’s infected feces gets onto the pasture, the horse may pick up the larvae by eating the grass nearby.

The signals you should be aware of include lung sounds in horses. The prolonged worm living may lead to bronchitis and pneumonia. Additionally, the symptoms are diarrhea, weight loss, and colic.


Tapeworms (Anoplocephala Perfoliata) are the parasites migrating through the intestine. The mite serves as a host that typically live on pasture and hay. Mites eat the larvae eggs, horses eat mites, and get infected. The common symptoms of tapeworms are diarrhea, and weight loss. As well as severe colic that may need emergency surgery.

Bot Fly Larvae

Gasterophilus Intestinalis occur from botflies. The adult flies lay eggs on horse’s legs and when horses lick their limbs, the eggs get into an animal. Gasterophilus Intestinalis develop in the stomach, which may lead to ulceration and ruptures. The Botfly Larvae signs are the inflamed mouth and colic.

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Horse Deworming Guidelines

In order to keep the helminths under control, regular deworming is needed. Here’s a list of useful tips that you should keep in mind.

Provide Worm-Free Surroundings

A few actions should be taken in order to control the helminths’ intrusion. They may reduce the chance of getting complications and repeated infection.

The Bottom Line

Look after your horses carefully and in case of health worsening, contact your vet with no hesitation. Immediate actions may prevent severe health issues, so your companion will live more comfortably. Discuss a deworming schedule with your veterinarian to control the infection. Stay healthy!

This article was contributed by guest author Thomas Brown for

About The Author

The team at is focused on helping you find horse-related facilities and services near you. Their directory of boarding facilities, veterinarians, riding instructors, fence builders, and more is designed to help you find what you and your horse need in your own area.

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