Spring Fever: Bugs and Parasites (Part 2)
Unfortunately we’re not the only ones who look forward to the spring weather. The change in weather brings bugs and parasites which thrive in warmer temperatures. With that in mind, don’t forget to deworm your horses. It’s important to get the proper dewormer and vaccinations for your horse to prevent serious illness. Different areas of the country have different bugs and parasites to worry about, educating yourself and consulting with your vet will help you provide your horse with the best possible care.
There are a few major types of bugs and parasites to look out for. Our top predators include, worms, flies, some of which, like the bot fly, lay their eggs on your horses legs/body, and ticks. When grooming, before and after you ride, make sure to check over your horse’s body for ticks and even fly bites. Utilize fly sheets and masks in addition to supplements, bug repellents and ointments (which usually contain some form of tick control).
Worms can be a little trickier to catch. Some signs that your horse may be struggling with worms are rubbing of the tail on fences, walls and other abrasive surfaces, decreased stamina and fatigue. Although these are symptoms of possible parasitism they can also be attributed to other horse related ailments which is why you cannot depend on these signs completely. If you are concerned your horse may have worms contact your vet to do a fecal exam or check out your horses poop regularly to be certain.
Instead of just treating your horse look into treating your property as well. Citronella, fly tape and other remedies are available at your local tack shop. Consider researching pet friendly pesticides and sprays to help control ticks and other bugs to reduce your horse’s chances of bites.
Bugs and parasites can be menacing as the warm weather approaches. WANT TO LEARN MORE? Meet us at Hobby Horse Saddlery on April 22nd at 6:30 pm for our second “Hobby Health Hour”. Join us and B.W. Furlong & Associates Long Island Veterinary Service’s Dr. Emily Olson as we learn more about bugs, parasites and controlling them.
So, my confession you ask? I fly spray my horse AND myself before I go out for a ride. Nothing is worse than swallowing a bug while riding. YUCK.
May there always be a hoof print next to your footprint, Christine