Common Internal Parasites Found in Horses

Horses can get many internal parasites. There are several different types of worms that can affect horse. Some of them are very dangerous to a horses health. All of them will cause harm to the horse.


There are many internal parasites that affect horses and some of them can be extremely dangerous.

Large Strongyles that are commonly called blood worms are the most dangerous internal parasite a horse can get.  They cause so much damage because when the small larvae travel through the blood vessels they damage the wall of the blood vessel.  They can build up and cause a blood vessel to become blocked and sometimes rupture.  They cause poor circulation and organ and tissue damage.

An infestation can cause your horse to develop colic, anemia, diarrhea, fever, depression and sometimes loss of appetite.  To prevent these worms you must de-worm your horse on a regular schedule.  Consult your veterinarian and he will recommend the best de-warmer for you to use in your area.  De-worm your horse regularly to keep him worm free.

The small Strongyles also known as small red worms travel to the large colon and this is where they stay.  They can cause many serious problems for your horse.  

Another common internal parasite found in horses is Ascrids also known as roundworms.  They can be very dangerous internal parasites.  They are usually found in very young horses.  They can cause damage to the lungs and liver of a horse.  The horse can cough, have a fever and get pneumonia when they are infected.  When the roundworms are adults they will live in the horse’s small intestine.  When the roundworms are in the small intestine they can cause colic, ruptured gut, blockage and even death.  De-worm your horse regularly to prevent a roundworm infestation.

Thread worms are a common internal parasite that usually affects young colts.  If the larvae enter through the skin they will make their way to the colt’s lungs, and they will then make their way to the wind pipe.  The horse will cough them up and then swallow them.  Thread worms cause damage to the lungs and small intestines.  Thread worms can cause diarrhea, weakness, weight loss and stunted growth.

Another common internal parasite is the pinworm.  The pinworm larvae live off the intestinal lining.  The female adult pinworm will move to the horse’s anal area.  The female will lay eggs that are covered with a substance that causes itching.  The horse will rub his tail on anything he can find.  Keep your horse on a good worming schedule and he will not have any problem.

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  1. Never knew horses got these problems

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