How often do you worm your horse

How often do you worm your horse?

In the past recommendations for worming horses has been along the lines of every 6-12 weeks with a regular rotation of the wormer used. However recent studies, both in Australia and overseas, are indicating that roundworms are becoming resistant to the drugs that we have available. Worming too often may have contributed to this resistance. In order to preserve the life of the drugs that we are using we need to make different recommendations to the past.

Only using wormers when they are needed and changing the wormer type (if it is not effective) will help. However, we are now able to provide a more accurate answer for you! Faecal egg counts are used to determine whether a horse requires worming. A faecal egg count (FEC) tells if a horse has low or high levels of eggs. If the horse has high levels of eggs when it is due for worming then a worm treatment will probably be indicated. If the FEC is low then there may not be a need for worming. We are able to pick up resistance problems by doing faecal egg counts 2– 4 times a year (recommend 4 times annually).


Another point to consider is that some horses naturally have less resistance to worms and therefore shed more worms which then infect others. About 20% (or 1 in 5) horses fall into this category. These horses, once identified, might need a different worming protocol to their paddock mates.

So what’s all this talk about different wormers?

Equiworm (Ivermectin and Praziquantel) should be used as a first line dewormer when eggs are picked up on a faecal egg count. Other products should only be used if resistance is picked up on a faecal egg count.

So what can you do at home to reduce the spread of worms?

1. Pick up droppings from paddocks (recommended every 2 days)

2. Rotational grazing—Rotate horses to different paddocks for grazing.

3. Most importantly, DO NOT rely on wormers!


1. How much manure do I need to bring in?

The testing only uses 2 grams of manure so a small zip lock back with one ball/piece of manure is generally enough.

2. What do I need to do with it before I bring it in?

If the manure is not been brought in straight away it is best to keep the manure in a fridge before bringing it to us. Note: we only run faecal egg counts Monday- Thursday. Please avoid samples been brought in on a Friday or Saturday.

3. How much does it cost to get a worm egg count done?

For your first horse it will cost $16.50 but for any other consecutive it is $10.00 each thereafter.

4. How is it run?

The manure is prepared and looked at through a microscope. The amount of eggs within the sample are then counted and a calculation is done to determine the worm burden your horse may have.

5. Can it be any manure?

The best manure for the sample is the freshest you can find

6. How often should I get a worm egg count done?

If your horses have not been wormed it is best to bring a sample in and get a faecal egg count done and depending on the results we can advise when and how often you should have a worm egg count down for your horse

7. If one horse has worms should I be worming my other horses?

Some horses have better natural resistance to worms. It is advised you bring manure in for each horse and we determine if they need to be wormed based on their individual worm burdens

Call us on 07 5543 1213 to discuss this further or to work out a worming protocol for your horse(s).