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When you think of worms that can both your horse, the first ones that come to mind are probably strongyles and ascarids. But while these are the most common and serious intestinal parasites horse can contract, they are not the only ones to watch out for.
Pinworms can also infect horses. The pinworms that infect horses are a different species than those that infect humans, cats, or dogs. (Their species name is Oxyuris equi).So, you do not have to worry about contracting these worms from your horse. However, you do need to know how to detect and treat them! Here's a look.
Signs That Your Horse Has Pinworms
Pinworms have a unique lifestyle when it come to intestinal parasites. The adult worms actually live in your horse's rectum and in the end of their large intestine, but they crawl out of the horse's anus to lay their eggs. This results in the primary symptom of pinworms, which is rubbing of the tail. The horse rubs its tail because the pinworms cause a lot of itching as they crawl around the anus and lay their eggs. Your horse may rub his tail on the stall door, a tree, or even his water bucket. The hairs at the top of the dock may become frayed as a result.
The other primary symptom of pinworms is the presence of worms around the anus. You're most likely to see them at night. They are creamy white in color and about an inch long. Sometimes, they may be found in a little pool of brownish discharge.
Luckily, treating pinworms in horses is pretty easy. Ivermectin, the most common deworming medication also used to remove strongyles and ascarids, is effective against pinworms, too. Most tack stores sell ivermectin paste wormers for just a few dollars, and you can administer them easily onto the back of your horse's tongue using the syringe they are sold in.
For best results, give your horse a dose of ivermectin as soon as pinworms are noticed, and then deworm him or her again every two to three months to prevent re-infestation. If you have more than one horse, make sure you deworm them all at the same time since the worms are easily transmitted from horse to horse. You may also need to apply a soothing aloe gel to the horse's irritated anus and tail if the itching has resulted in raw spots. For more information, contact companies like Steve's Horse Supply.