How to Deal with Internal Parasites in Horses?
When you are breeding your horses, the most common problem you will face is internal parasites or worms. If you are someone who is interested in breeding horses for racing purposes, then you will require a bunch of healthy horses free of the parasite. For this, you need to understand the effect it can cause and how. They can infect any type of horses. These parasites have a lifecycle beginning from eggs, larvae and then continuing as adults. The larvae can be considered as the immature worms, and the adults are the matured worms.
The eggs or larvae are deposited in the manure of an already infected horse. When other healthier horses are grazing, they can swallow it accidentally. Then the larvae go inside and reach maturity inside the horse’s digestive system or some other organs. The major problem that internal parasites can cause is that they lower the immunity of horse. A horse that is infected by an internal parasite will have trouble getting the full nutrition from its food.
If it is not treated at the right moment, they can damage the internal organs of horse permanently. The horses that are very young or very old are the most at risk of being infected. This happens because of either their poor or weak immune system. The signs of infection vary widely from horse to horse; they can either be very subtle or very severe depending on the breed of horse and the extent of the infection. At proper horse racing circuits like those you get to watch on TVG, they take care of these problems and make sure that the horses are free of any parasite infection.
Different Types of Parasite Infection:
Many different types of internal parasites can infect your horse.
- Large Strongyles or Bloodworms
- Small strongyles or Cyathostomins
- Ascarids or Large Roundworms
- Stomach Bots
Paddock Management as a Measure of Prevention
The exciting thing about internal parasites is that they spend most of the lifecycle in the environment. This is why removing the pastured egg is very crucial to avoid larval contamination. Precaution is better than cure in these cases. Proper paddock management is the most efficient worm control program one can opt for. You can maintain the system by doing some simple groundwork every day.
- Pick the manure up at regular intervals. This is especially necessary if you have a smaller yard.
- Graze the paddocks with cattle, sheep, deer or goat in the rotation. This is a brilliant way to reduce the contamination filled with equine parasites.
- Harrowing paddocks is another effective method and resting them under dry conditions for six to eight weeks destroys the eggs.
- Regularly cleaning the foaling boxes and disinfecting them is a must.
- Keeping the horses clean by washing them regularly will reduce the number of eggs sticking to their skin.
If the horse is at all infected, even after all these precautions, and then they need to be treated with anthelmintics or wormers. They help in removing the parasites from the horse’s body, internally. Other forms of treatments include the use of Macrocyclic lactones, Benzimidazoles, Tetrahydropyrimidines and Praziquantel.
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