It is inevitable that every grazing horse will pick up different types of parasitic worms from their environment. Under normal conditions, the horse’s immune system keeps the worm burden in the gut low – and it is important to understand that it is healthy and normal for a horse to carry a small worm burden as that helps them to develop immunity.
However, it is also important to monitor this burden and treat horses that have above recommended levels of intestinal parasites if horses are to maintain good health. If the horse’s immune system fails, or if the horse is exposed to high numbers of worms, the intestinal worm burden can become excessive, which can become life-threatening. Worm-related gut damage can lead to colic, diarrhoea and other significant on-going and long-term problems for the horse, even after the worms have been treated.
While young horses tend to be more susceptible to worm-related problems, horses of all ages can be affected.
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