The Essentials of Horse and Pony Worming
Worms can be a real problem for horses and ponies as well as for their owners. When used properly, worming treatments such as Equest Pramox are extremely useful and effective ways to deal with this issue. However, it is important to remember that wormers are medicinal substances subject to a number of licenses and controls. In order to ensure they are used properly and safely, it is necessary to follow a few essential principles and to consult a professional if in any serious doubt about the appropriate type or dosage.
Understand the Types of Wormers
There are different types of worms, and so it is important to ensure you use an appropriate treatment designed to target that kind of worm. Otherwise, you are administering a medicinal substance which is not appropriate, and this carries the danger of side effects without the benefits of the primary effects.
There are a number of treatments, such as Equimax and Eqvalan horse wormer, which target only tapeworms and have no real effect on encysted worms. Similarly, products such as Equest form an effective treatment for encysted worms but fail to target tapeworms. The only wormer that will successfully target both types of worm is Equest Pramox, so this is the only wormer that can be appropriately administered regardless of which of these types of worm you are dealing with.
Know the Animal's Weight
The weight of your horse or pony is absolutely vital in administering wormers properly. The required dose is proportionate to the size of the animal being treated, so not knowing your animal's weight accurately can lead to inappropriate dosing.
Both underdosing and overdosing have their problems. Underdosing can render the treatment ineffective and essentially just a waste of money. Overdosing can have implications for the health of your animal, and even if the dosage isn't excessive enough to cause health complications it can slow the efficacy of the treatment by encouraging resistance to develop. A weight tape costs only a few pounds, and can avert these issues by ensuring a proper dose is administered.
Follow the Correct Dosing Interval
There is no such thing as a permanent wormer. All wormers remain effective for a certain period of time, and after that your horse is once more vulnerable to infestation. The exact length of time for which they are protected after treatment is administered varies depending on which wormer is used. Usually, this is expressed as a range. For example, some wormers state that they remain effective for 4-6 weeks, and some 8-10 weeks.
Exactly which part of the range you should treat as the correct interval depends on the situation. If your horse or pony is prone to heavy infestation, then it may be necessary to use the shortest interval to prevent the problems that worms can cause. If, on the other hand, they only have a light worm burden then dosing this often can be unnecessary and encourage worms to develop resistance. In this case, the longest interval may be more appropriate. In all cases, if you are unsure you should consult an animal health care professional in order to understand how to best use any pet medicines.