1. Home

How do I prevent my horse from getting parasites?


Question: How do I prevent my horse from getting parasites?
Good stable and pasture hygiene can help prevent parasites in your horses. Sometimes cleaning up manure can be an onerous task, but for this reason alone it is an important one. Of course, not only will you be preventing internal parasite by doing this, but discouraging annoying biting and disease carrying insects as well.
Answer: Total prevention of parasites is almost impossible. But steps can be taken to reduce the eggs that exist in you horse's pastures paddocks and stables.

Good pasture maintenance is the most important step in reducing parasites in horses. Parasite eggs, having been dropped in the horse's manure, are then eaten by the horse, along with the grass that it graze nearby. That's why it is important to keep your pastures clear of old manure. Allow your pastures to rest if possible, as many parasite eggs will live for only a short while and rotating pastures helps give time for the eggs to dry out and die. Keep stalls clean and dry as well.

Fly sprays may help repel bot flies and many people pull or scrape the small yellow eggs off of their horse's hair coat so the horse does not ingest them. Bot eggs are ingested when the horse bites or licks at their coat. The saliva loosens the egg, and the egg travels into the horse's stomach where it hatches and turns into a larva.

It is also important to deworm any new horse that comes on the property before you turn it out on pasture. This way, you're avoiding introducing any new parasites to your pastures.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.