Virbac Australia

Health Care

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Choose the Correct Worming Strategy

Worming treatments for horses vary depending on a range of factors. Here’s how to choose the right worming program for your horse.

Worming intervals

How often horses are wormed depends on the property’s management system. It is ideal to use the minimum number of treatments possible in a year, as over-worming can lead to resistance. Depending on a number of factors, some horse owners will need to worm more often than others.

Where there are large numbers of horses kept close together and/or horses are frequently moving on and off a property, there will be a greater need for worm control. This is because these horses will be at the greatest risk of contamination. Horses in these situations, generally on studs or agistment properties, may need to be wormed every six to eight weeks.

It may be possible to worm horses less often where there are low stocking densities. The use of paddock management procedures like manure removal, paddock rotation and grazing with other species will also help lower contamination pressure.

A selective deworming program using faecal egg counts is the most sustainable way you can manage worming of your adult horses. Foals will all need regular worming.

Strategic Gold Standard Worming involves worming horses based on:

  • Parasite lifecycle
  • Risk of disease
  • Likely resistance status of worms

This is important to slow down resistance. A good program:

  • Targets the horses that most need treatment and reduces chemical usage in the other horses
  • Uses faecal egg count monitoring
  • Avoids over usage of chemicals from the same class of actives
  • Includes products containing pyrantel to ensure adequate control in resistant small strongyles or roundworm
  • Uses moxidectin no more than once a year when treatment for encysted small strongyles is specifically indicated
  • Strategically treats horses based on worm lifecycles and time of year
  • Avoids using single active wormers year after year
  • Involves the quarantine and treatment of new horses with a combination wormer.

For the Gold Standard Young horses program

  • Decrease worm burdens by paddock management
  • Worm the mare two weeks before foaling (or if missed on the day of foaling)
  • Avoid the use of straight mectin or mectin/tapewormer products in ALL horses less than two years of age
  • Only use combination wormers that contain pyrantel such as STRATEGY-T®  and EQUIMAX® ELEVATION
  • Use STRATEGY-T as the first wormer of the foal at 8–12 weeks of age then repeat each 8–12 weeks before use of EQUIMAX ELEVATION from 9–12 months of age
  • Begin a FEC monitoring program in yearlings

strategic worming for foals


For the Gold Standard Adult horses program

  • Decrease worm burdens by paddock management
  • Worm all adult horses once in Spring with STRATEGY-T and once in Autumn with EQUIMAX® or EQUIMAX ELEVATION
  • Use FEC monitoring to identify which horses or paddocks need to be wormed at other times of the year
  • Use STRATEGY-T in the warmer months* and EQUIMAX in the cooler months
  • Use FEC testing to identify any high shedders in your horses. These horses are wormed 4–6 times a year

If your horse has suspect summer sores use EQUIMAX or RAZOR® and then return to STRATEGY-T if further summer worming is required.

strategic worming for adult horses

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