All Things Horse

Forty-seven Years Of Horse Experience – At Your Service!

Worms! Yew!

One doesn’t judge a fine horse by his strength, but by his character.” – Confucius

Tip #9

As one of my young nieces would say, “Yewwww…,Gross me out!” This is not something anyone really enjoys thinking about, but…, unfortunately it is a fact.

Does your horse need de-worming medication?  Most of you who read this, know all about de-worming a horse and probably have your horses on a regular de-worming schedule. Most likely your horses need to have the medication. But not always and not all horses, strange as it may seem.

In an earlier post on potatoes, I mentioned that I never once de-wormed Copper in the seven years that I had him, nor the seven years that his previous owner, my cousin, had him. Copper is a pie-bald Pinto/Tennessee Walker and now he is over in PEI and still doesn’t get de-wormed. When I took him over to Prince Edward Island, the veterinarian looked him over, tested his stools and said he didn’t need the attention.

Now I’ve had Gimme A Dream slightly more than two years and I’ve de-wormed him four times. Each time, I swear that the medication didn’t work. 

Frilly came from the CDP (Charlottetown Driving Park) and I found out she was infested with small strongyles (small red worm) this month, almost a year after I took her from the CDP.  These worms are known to kill their host and they are well known to resist de-worm medication.  I didn’t have her tested because there was no need. I could see them in her stools. frilly

Frilly has been de-wormed several times since I owned her, each time with a different brand with a different active ingredient.  She was de-wormed a couple of times before she came to the Magdalen Islands.  Now I’m questioning where she came by them and more important, why does she still have them? 

I specifically checked for worms in the filly.  She has had bare spots appearing in her fur around her rump, which I associated with worms.  The other two horses, Gimme A Dream and Willow don’t have the same problem.  

Last March, Frilly lost fur in circles and I de-wormed all of the horses, as I did the other day. Last year, I targeted ringworm specifically and all other species generally.  To me it is obvious that I didn’t get the small redworm last spring, because of the infestation this spring. 


Now I realize that most of you are thinking that she has been re-infested from grazing. I would normally consider that seriously except all of my horses are on fresh pasture land and there are no other animals on the island. Because of this lack of animals, either domestic or wild, we don’t have the insect population that creates the larva that, when ingested, cause the worm problem. For example, I don’t have the bot problem that other places have, because the island doesn’t have the bot fly.

I’m thinking that Frilly brought the worms from the racetrack, the CDP.  Race horse owners are notorious for cheaping out, when their investments don’t pay off. I’ve heard that the CDP is a festering maggot pile, from a few horse owners who do care a great deal for their four-legged athletes. frilly-lt-rump-4

That means that the small redworm has developed a resistance to the medication I gave them last year. I’ve come to this conclusion because of the isolation the horses live in, on this island. We have very few species of insect here. Of the insects that bother the horses there are only two, the mosquito and the horse fly.

The vet says that this is normal, but it is not! They have them on her island Grindstone and also on Amherst and House Harbour islands, but not here on Coffin Island.  Also we have a small amount of wormwood growing wild in the pastures. Wormwood is known to kill parasites within warm blooded bodies.  It is unlikely that we have many of the other parasites that cause worms in the horses. We have mosquitos and horse flies (the vampires) of the insect world. There are a few house flies.

After all is said and done, it is possible and probable that my dear deceased Sammy (Sam’s Pride) was the culprit who infected Frilly. Her stools had been tested and came out positive for some worms but not enough to suspect fowl play in her death.

So what this comes down to is that,  I want them gone…, before the horses go out on the pasture this summer. They won’t re-infect themselves this time of the year, but the eggs can live in the grass and whatever insect emerges will create the larva in the grass and re-infect the horses. That just won’t do!

I have an intense dislike putting chemicals into the bodies of my four legged friends. If I can prevent the spread of these worms, I’m going to do it. But unfortunately, I still sense that I didn’t get them gone from young Frilly. I will be giving her a dose of something else, brain-storming with the vet and sending to the manufactures for something different. I don’t know what else I can do!


April 4, 2009 - Posted by | health | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I cant wait to see you this summer and neither can my kids! Hope to see you very soon! We might stay for Old Home Week and see you ride!


    Comment by Shelly Grant | April 21, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: