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The Stealthy Tapeworm

Tapes can quietly pose serious problems for your horse.

Tapeworms have been implicated in several forms of colic, including spasmodic colic, impaction colic, and intussusception, a condition that occurs when the intestine telescopes into itself causing a blockage that may require surgical repair.

Unlike those found in dogs and cats, tapeworms in horses are difficult to detect. Tapeworm segments are rarely seen in manure, and standard fecal examination methods may not provide concrete evidence of tape-worm eggs. The prevalence of tapeworms in horses is much higher than previously believed, affecting up to 75% of all horses in the Northeast.

New on the market are several products which combine ivermectin and praziquantel and are available over the counter at feed stores and tack shops.

If your horse has never been de-wormed for tapes, we advise giving one of these products at your next deworming, then administering the tapeworm treatment one to two times per year as part of your annual rotation. For sample deworming schedules, please visit this page.