Pinworms in Horses

Pinworms in Horses

Pinworms in horses are literally worms.

This is not like ringworm, which is a fungal rash. Pinworms are little tiny worms between 1 and 5 centimetres long and they hang out inside the intestinal tract of horses. They can attack a horse of any age, but it’s more often the young horses that get infected. 

Pinworms in horses is a seriously nasty problem. Out of all the parasites that infect horses, pinworms have the most efficient life cycle. They refuse to migrate through any of the organ tissue, and they have evolved a means of reproduction that allows their eggs to stay with the horse. 

How do pinworms work? Well, while the horse is having a nice time sleeping, female pinworms will crawl out of its rectum, lay their eggs on the perennial region of the animal, then crawl back into the horse’s rectum. It’s a sneaky business and it’s definitely not good for the horse.

Infective pinworm eggs are typically ingested orally, and they wait until they are in the colon to begin developing into sexually mature pinworms. It takes about five months for the eggs to develop, and as the horse is migrating, the horse is taking the eggs and the adult with them. 

As you might already know, pinworms cause extreme anal irritation. While this is good in a way, since it’s the only damage that the pinworms cause, it’s still super annoying for the horse. The only good thing is that the horse won’t die, it will just be super annoyed. 

Pinworms spend their entire lives hanging out in the intestine and never migrate. They don’t even cause any physical damage to the horse. They are just a huge bother. Imagine having an itchy butt all the time, it would be a real pain in the you know what. Because of this, pinworm infections are generally hard to spot. 

How do you treat pinworms in horses?

If your horse is infected with pinworms, you need to get rid of them. But this is easier said than done. The first thing you need to do is practice good stable management. You also need to purchase the proper pinworm dewormer. With proper care and the best medicine, you can definitely heal your horse’s itchy butt in no time. 

When dealing with your horse, you are going to need to thoroughly clean and cleanse its tail, its anus, and any other area that is affected. This should be done before you administer any dewormer. You are also going to want to disinfect a lot of stuff in the stable. This means disinfect feed buckets, water buckets, grooming kits, and any other item that the horse could have rubbed against or otherwise come into contact with. 

What Wormer Kills Pinworms in Horses?

Not every wormer is going to work for killing the pinworms in your horse. Assuming you have gone through the process of testing to ensure that it is indeed pinworms that your horse is infected with, you’re going to need a good wormer to kill the parasite. 

There are two main choices that work really well. When it comes to pinworms, you want to use something like a double dose of pyrantel or fenbendazole for a 5-day course. Either one of these methods is the preferred treatment. But it’s not enough in itself to kill the pinworms. They could always come back if you don’t practice proper stable hygiene to prevent any possible reinfection.

Before dosing your horse with either solution, it’s always important that you check first with your veterinarian to make sure everything is going to be OK. And when it comes to disinfecting your stable and the things that your horse has come into contact with, you want to use a proper veterinary disinfectant like Interkokask. This is the best thing you can use for rubbing down any infected surfaces. 

What is the Best Wormer for Pinworms in Horses?

There are a few different solutions you can use to deworm your horse. We highly recommend using Strongid-P from Zoetis. This is a pyrantel-based warmer that is going to control worms effectively when used at double the recommended dose. It’s also a great wormer to use routinely as a base for a regular worming control program. 

If you’re worried about the pinworms coming back, Strongid-P is recommended because you can use it regularly to thwart any reinfection. A single tube of Strongid-P is going to be enough to treat a horse up to 1,250 pounds. It’s dirt cheap, it’s safe to use with breeding mares and stallions, and it’s easy to administer. 

To properly administer this medicine to your horse, simply adjust the ring to fit your horse’s particular weight and lock into place. Be sure that your horse doesn’t have any food in its mouth, then place the syringe gently inside the space between the horse’s teeth. Give the plunger a good push, and it should stop once it hits the locked ring. The gel will be deposited on the back of the horse’s tongue, and that’s all there is to it. 

Be sure to always consult your veterinarian before administering any medications to your horse. They will always know the correct dosage to give and can help with any additional information that you need. 

Can a Person Get Pinworms from a Horse?

If your horse has pinworms and you’re concerned that you could catch them, or that someone else on the property could be infected, don’t worry. The good news is that pinworms are specific to a certain species. For example, not even your dog can get pinworms from your horse. It just can’t happen. However, other horses can of course get pinworms from other horses. 

And when it comes to human beings and getting pinworms, you are indeed able to be infected. Almost any animal can be infected by pinworms. However, for you to get infected it must be from another person. There is no way for the pinworms in your horse to spread to you. And in the same way, you can’t get pinworms from any of your other barn animals.