Not necessarily. Certainly some horses with parasite problems can be identified with poor hair coats, but it is possible for your horse to have parasites and show no exterior signs. Most horses are likely parasitized to some degree. The only way to determine conclusively that your horse has an unhealthy level of parasites, is to have a fecal egg count performed.
It is important to note that as the number of parasites increase, the horse’s ability to use nutrients can be affected, and there can be damage to internal organs.
They can be. The intestinal parasites of horses have evolved with the horse and have therefore become fairly hardy. Horses used to range large tracts of land,and parasite eggs had to be pretty resistant to the environment for the horse to be infected. Under modern horse-keeping practices, horses are kept close together in more lush environments….arrangements that can concentrate the number of parasites, which can infect your horse.
The number of horses on a property, the type of horses, and the ages of the horses are all taken into consideration when developing a deworming program. However, if we had to make a generalization deworming every three months, or 4 times a year, is a good benchmark.
Deworming programs rarely eliminate all of your horse’s parasites. The goal of most programs is to reduce the number of parasites each horse has and to reduce parasite contamination of common grazing or turnout areas. The efficiency of deworming programs can and should be evaluated by performing fecal egg counts. This is the only way to truly evaluate how effective your parasite control program actually is. With this information, adjustments can be made and you will go a long way in diminishing your chances of having a colicky horse.
This is a parasite which usually infects donkeys (and usually the donkey has no problems with it). The donkeys can serve as a source of pasture infection. Adult horses (which are not the usual host for this parasite) pick up the parasite while grazing a pasture with donkeys. The life cycle of the parasite cannot be completed in the adult horse, and the horse ends up with lungworm larvae in its airways. The result is airway inflammation and a cough. On the plus side, this parasite is easily killed with ivermectin or moxidectin, and we see problems with it incredibly infrequently.