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Tricks to Deworm Your Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   1st Jul 2017   •   1,056 views   •   0 comments


At some point in your horse’s life, it’s probably going to need medication of some sort, even if it only ever needs parasite control drugs. Depending on the how the medication is delivered, it can be tricky to get medications into your horse. Horses can get suspicious about taking medications very quickly. Here’s a look at the options for making sure your horse is getting the required dose.

The most common medication you’ll give a horse is paste dewormer in a tube. These can be bought at most livestock supply stores and tack shops. The tubes are usually enough to deworm a horse up to 1200 lbs. The tube is made like a syringe, with markings that allow you to adjust the plunger so you give your horse the right amount of drug. Calculating the amount you’ll need is easy.

Getting it into your horse can be the difficult part. Preparation is key. That means well before you put a tube of questionable tasting paste in your horse’s mouth, you’ll need to practice with a tube of something yummy, like applesauce, carrot mush or anything else that is sweet and tempting. Use an old well-cleaned paste wormer tube. Fill it with the yummy paste you’ve made. Put the tube at the corner of the horse’s mouth, and squeeze out the paste as far back on the horse’s mouth as you can. It can help to have a friend hold the horse, as holding the horse and squeezing out the paste can feel like it requires three hands, even with the horse securely tied.

To administer pills you can direct method of putting your hand in your horse’s mouth, grabbing its tongue and putting a pill as far back as you can. This will probably work a few times until the horse is savvy to what you’re up too. Then you might have to resort to subterfuge.

If you’ve mastered getting paste from a tube into your horse, it can make getting pills and powders easier to get in too. You can crush pills and mix powders into whatever your horse likes in the tube, such as nut butter thinned with syrup, molasses or honey, applesauce, fruit flavored yogurt or vegetable purees. Use a small coffee grinder type grinder to break down the pills. Be sure you clean the grinder up thoroughly so you get the right dose of medicine for your horse, and don’t leave behind residues in someone’s coffee. Putting large pills between two old spoons and tapping with a small hammer is another way to break up pills.

Liquids can be tricky. Horses often turn down feed sprinkled with liquid or powder medication. Many medications are very expensive, and your horse really needs them, so you want to make sure there is no waste. You might be able to mix them with a paste to use the tube wormer idea, or you might try making yummy treat balls with the liquid mixed in. Try balls made of oatmeal or grain mixed with molasses or nut butter. You can also just feed a yummy sweetened paste, rather than try to form it into balls.

Whether you do the tube paste method or the treat ball method, alternate past or treats with medication with those without. That way, your horse isn’t quite as likely to catch on that there is something yucky hiding inside.

Sometimes you’ll need to inject your horse with a medication. Your veterinarian will show you the right location and method. You’ll need to remember that horsehide is thick. So rather than just slowly inject, you may need to be a bit more assertive than gentle. Again, it’s best to have someone help you and to have the horse securely tied.
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