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 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 as the best horse wormer ) on the market. There are many different options, making 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 correct 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 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 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
Our Top Pick
|Durvet 12-Pack Ivermectin Dewormer Paste
|Merck Animal Safe Guard 25 Gram Paste Equine Dewormer
|Merial Zimecterin Gold Paste Horse Wormer
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 correct 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’ll review below will beat many of them, and we’ll explain which is best for each situation.
Top 3 Best Horse Wormers 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, its best features, 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 Animal Safe-Guard 25-Gram Paste Equine Dewormer contains active chemicals such as fenbendazole and anthelmintics that efficiently remove parasites. Each gram of this powerful medication contains 100 mg of fenbendazole for the most effective action.
This all-purpose paste is incredibly efficient against a variety of parasites. Fortunately, it is safe to use daily to avoid mishaps with your horse. It can control parasites such as pinworms, ascarids, big and tiny strongyles, and gnathostomes larvae from the early third to fourth stages. Moreover, it can help treat any arthritis in horses caused by Strongylus Vulgaris larvae in the fourth stage.
This paste is simple to use as it simply requires oral intake. The paste also has an apple cinnamon flavor that your horse may appreciate, making the procedure easier for both of you and reducing waste. This makes things more accessible, pleasant, and comfortable for you and your stallion.
Because of its potent characteristics, you only need one syringe to deworm a 1,100-pound horse, making it a more cost-effective choice than medicines that require a large amount of substance for each dose. Best of all, you can use this dewormer on various species, including miniature horses, foals, and weanlings.
- It has an apple cinnamon taste that your horse may appreciate
- Highly effective against multiple worms
- Outstanding control for general parasites with routine
#2) Durvet 12-Pack Ivermectin Dewormer Paste for Horses
This dewormer paste is a great option if you have a herd of more than two or three horses. It is effective and takes only a single dose to work.
This syringe wormer 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 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 your horse the right dose. When using pellets, it can be more challenging to determine if the entire dose has been taken. However, remember that some people who have purchased this medication have received 10 doses instead of 12.
- It comes in a convenient bulk buy option with 12 separate doses
- It can remove bots and certain types of worms with one single dose.
- Features an apple flavor that most horses will enjoy consuming
#3) Merial Zimecterin Gold Dewormer Paste for Horses
The Zimecterin Gold Dewormer Paste for Horses has a more sophisticated paste than the conventional Zimecterin paste and can successfully kill worms. Even with a single dose, this paste works wonders against tapeworms, and it is the first FDA-approved dewormer to be acknowledged for it.
Its potent ingredients can kill stomach, hairworms, lungworms, strongyles, roundworms, and pinworms, and it’s’ completely safe to give to any horse over the age of two months. You should administer this one-of-a-kind paste orally, and for horses weighing up to 1,250 pounds, you only need one dosage.
It is also authorized to control horse parasites of any species and stage, outperforming other products on the market by a large margin. Moreover, it’s’ capable of dealing with small strongyles resistant to the component benzimidazole. Its formula contains 1.55 percent Ivermectin and 7.75 percent Praziquantel, with a 7.35 g syringe in the box for administration.
The Merial Zimecterin Gold Dewormer Paste is your best bet if you want an all-around horse wormer to rid your horse of all those annoying worms.
- Removes tapeworms, roundworms, and bots with only one dose
- It effectively kills pinworms, stomach worms, lungworms, and other pests
- Can treat horses weighing up to 1250 lbs
- Its potent broad-spectrum agent is capable and can battle 61 parasite species
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Wormer for Horses
There are several things to consider when 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 excellent 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 horse, so your vet should help you. Whatever they recommend should supersede any other information since every horse is different. However, the three significant 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. The pasture can also be managed by avoiding ground feeding and instead feeding hay or grain from a rack.
2. Monitoring the level of fecal egg counts – You should regularly monitor your horses’ fecal egg counts. This is because the parasites present must be diagnosed as quickly as possible. This will help you create and adhere to an effective horse deworming schedule.
3. Worm your horses – The last step in controlling 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 chance 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 with syringes for oral administration.
These are marked with the correct dosing based on the horse’s weight, which needs to be followed correctly. You also want to consider the unique 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 worms 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, many worms 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. Remember 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 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 the 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 efficiency level 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 not affected as much, which can lead to more significant problems.
What health issues do worms and parasites cause?
Different parasites can cause different health issues to a horse. When worms infect a horse, they may experience 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 essential 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 will be different for every horse. The traditional treatment option involves deworming once every two months with rotating medications. However, some horses can be dewormed twice a 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 – Good health horses may not need as much deworming, while those who are ill may require 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 treating the suitable condition. Rotating the horse wormers is recommended to prevent the problem of parasites building resistance to drugs.
You must speak with your veterinarian before starting a worming program. Once a schedule is set up, and in place, it’s best to stick with it unless your vet asks you to modify things. If you keep up with regular deworming, you can keep your horses in healthy, fantastic condition year-round.