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5 Things You Need to Know about Dewormer

Preventing parasite infestation is crucial to maintaining your horse’s health. If left untreated, a high parasite load can cause symptoms including poor quality coat, weight loss, diarrhea or colic. There are two methods of parasite control: daily dewormers or a paste dewormer program. No matter which method you use, there are five things every owner should (or shouldn’t) do.

Equine Fecal Test Kit

(61 reviews)

1. Take the Test

Knowing the type and number of parasites in your horse is imperative. Ask your vet to perform a “fecal egg per gram” test, also known as a “fecal egg count”, or order our Equine Fecal Test Kit. This test should be done at least once a year, or per your veterinarian’s recommendations. As parasite resistance becomes an increasing concern, more and more horse owners are choosing to test their horses on a regular basis and use an appropriate paste dewormer to target their horse’s specific parasite load.

SmartPak Weight Tape

(105 reviews)

2. Don’t Play Guessing Games

It’s important to dose your horse according to his weight. Dosing inaccurately can be dangerous to your horse or compromise the efficacy of your deworming program, wasting your money and exposing your horse to the risks of a heavy parasite load. If you’re not sure how big your horse is, measure him with the SmartPak Weight Tape.

Zimecterin Gold

 $13.50 - $159.95
(193 reviews)

(139 reviews)

3. Target Tapeworms

Use a paste dewormer that is effective against tapeworms once or twice a year. Tapeworms pose a serious threat to your horse’s health, including increasing his risk of colic. It has been suggested that horses with tapeworms are more likely to experience spasmodic colic than those without.

Quest Plus Gel

(121 reviews)
Even more concerning, tapeworms are now considered to be a cause of certain types of colic that require emergency surgery. To target tapeworms, use a product that contains the active ingredient praziquantel, like Quest Plus Gel, Equimax or Zimecterin Gold.

Quest Gel

(59 reviews)
Panacur Powerpac

 $68.95 - $399.95
(128 reviews)

4. Know the Stages of Small Strongyles

Small strongyles can be difficult to manage effectively. During their larval stage of development, they can become encysted, or encapsulated inside your horse’s intestinal lining. While many active ingredients target the adult population of small strongyles in your horse, only two have been shown to be effective against the encysted larvae. Use a double dose of fenbedazole given for five consecutive days, as provided by the Panacur Powerpac or one single dose of moxidectin, like that available in Quest, to combat encysted small strongyles.


 $44.95 - $189.95
(136 reviews)
Strongid C2X

As Low As: $11.10
(215 reviews)

5. Timing is Everything

For a convenient, low-maintenance program, consider feeding a daily dewormer like Strongid C2X, or CW. Daily dewormers are fed year-round, along with a paste that targets tapeworms given twice a year. Since consistent and accurate doses are the key to effective use of daily dewormers, add one to your SmartPak to be sure your horse gets exactly what he needs! Because the timing of parasite lifecycles varies throughout the country, if you choose to only use pastes, it’s important to build your program based on your climate. Work with your veterinarian to develop a strategic program that will help control worms during the times of year in which they are most active.




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3 comments on “5 Things You Need to Know about Dewormer
  1. Jessica McDonald says:

    I just got my first horse and I was just wondering if your suppose to rotate worming pastes? And if there is any supplement that you can put in feed to help with worm prevention

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Hi Jessica – Hi Jessica, thank you for your question! Experts now agree that switching between classes of dewormers based on the calendar is neither the best way to protect our horses from parasites or to prevent resistance from developing in the worms themselves. There is an additional blog explaining this change specifically that we’ve included below. There are supplements available to manage parasites on a daily basis, and we would encourage you to work with your veterinarian and have your horse’s fecal test performed to evaluate if your horse would be a good candidate for this type of parasite management. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help with!

      No More Deworming Rotation Chart?

      Equine Deworming products:

  2. Thanks! Keep up the good work.

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