All Ponies and horses can become infected with worm. In general, infestation is caused by eating immature larvae from grass which develop into adult worms. The adults then lay eggs which are passed in the droppings, and these in turn hatch to infect the pasture with immature larvae. This completes the lifecycle of the worm. A low level of worm infection does not cause a problem and may even be beneficial but excessive worm burdens can result in disease and even death, especially if the horse is very young, old or unwell.
There are several different measures that can be taken in order to control worms effectively.
Removing droppings from the pasture significantly reduces the likelihood of horse accidentally ingesting the larvae from the grass. In addition to this resting the pasture for up to three months will help reduce the presence of worms.
Assessing the risks to the Horse
There are certain types of worms that should be treated at specific times of the year. Younger horses may need to be wormed more frequently. We would advise that you speak to your vet before choosing what worm dose to give your horse.
There any many different types of Worm doses on the market, awe stock a large range. Round worm should always be treated in the grazing months, tapeworm in the Spring or Autumn and bots in the late Autumn or Winter. When bringing new horses into your premises they should be kept separately for up to 3 days to avoid bringing resistant worms with them. Overuse of wormers can cause the worms to build up a resistance to the wormer.