Is your horse wormy? Or is your horse given chemicals from daily to a few times a year that can have detrimental effects on the body? Chemicals like Ivermectin have been found in brain tissue of horses on necropsy. Not good!
While there are many different dewormers and schedules for horses, many people wonder if they are doing what is best for their horse. There are alternatives to conventional paste dewormers that may take a bit more effort to use, but don’t involve harsh chemicals.
There are many factors that contribute to the efficacy of any deworming program. The horse’s stress level and immune system, boarding situation, stall and turnout sanitation, and environmental conditions.
When starting a holistic deworming routine, it is very important to have your veterinarian do a fecal egg count. Monitor the egg count every 6 months to be sure that your routine is effective. The best time to check for eggs and deworm is around the full moon when parasites are most active.
In most areas, the cost of a fecal egg count is the same as a tube of chemical dewormer so it is definitely worth checking to avoid introducing unnecessary toxins into your horse’s body. Some horses will need to be dewormed more frequently than others in the same herd usually indicating a weaker immune system or a more hospitable gut environment. These horses will benefit from a plan to improve the health of the gut and strengthen their immune system. This is best done through nutritional and herbal therapy and perhaps a change in that horse’s feed regimen.
Many people believe that pure diatomaceous earth, or fossil shell flour, can be fed free choice and will kill internal parasites. Studies have shown this method to be insufficient as a de-wormer, however it does work as feed through fly control and topically for external parasites and to control flies in manure piles.
Chinese herbs are also an option and usually are a combination formula from a holistic provider. They de-worm while also making your horse healthier. Silver Lining Herbs offers a feed through de-wormer made with a variety of ingredients that are very effective in clearing your horse of parasites. Straight wormwood is another effective herb that looks like hay when dried so horses are more prone to eat it willingly.
Wrm Clr from EquiPathics is a combination of remedies that strengthen the body’s energy to help dispel worms. It has to be given twice a day for 3 weeks.
It is essential to have a deworming routine that works best for your situation. Use fecal egg counts to determine how often each of your horses should be dewormed and which natural de-wormer is most effective. The number one way to naturally keep your horse worm-free is to pick up poop! Keep your horse’s stall and turnout area manure free to reduce the amount of parasites that your horse encounters.
If you choose to use more traditional dewormers try this suggestion from Dr. Debra: