Hay belly vs. worm belly vs. sand belly?

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Hay belly vs. worm belly vs. sand belly?

This is a discussion on Hay belly vs. worm belly vs. sand belly? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    06-08-2011, 01:29 PM
Hay belly vs. worm belly vs. sand belly?

Iíve been browsing forums here, doing my research and refreshing my brain before I actually jump into horse ownership. One thing that comes up a lot in topics is worming. From my lurking, Iíve noticed that a lot of horse people can look at a picture of a ďfatĒ horse and determine that itís wormy. How? Whatís the difference?

Google explained to me what worms were (thanks, Google! *shakes head*) and told me what causes a grass belly. Would you believe itís too much grass and not enough exercise? Whoída thunk? But then another article raised a question about sand belly in horses that are on a primarily dry lot.

Now, I know horses have to be wormed regularly (every 6-8 weeks or so, if I remember correctly). But Iím confused how one can just look at a horse and determine if itís a hay belly or a worm/sand belly. Does the belly ďhangĒ differently? Does the worm belly extend down rather than out? How can you tell?
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    06-08-2011, 01:34 PM
Deworming theories have changed quite a bit over the last few years. Most vets (not all so check with yours once you get a horse) are recommending fecal counts and deworming according to need. Too much resistance developing to the available deworming products.

I do not think there is a way to say 'sand' or 'worms' just by looking.

One thing that usually screams deworming needed (vs. too much grass/hay) is the horses failure to thrive (as they call it).
Dull coat, ribby, lack of muscle tone, etc.
    06-08-2011, 02:11 PM
Very interesting... I did not know theories on worming had changed so much. When I worked at the barn, we switched up the wormer used every 2-4 rotations, depending on what we had on hand.
    06-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Yes, that is what it had been for eons.
    06-08-2011, 03:29 PM
Now, even if you don't have fecals done, many vets (in my area anyway) advise you not to worm more often than 2 times a year unless it is really needed.
    06-08-2011, 03:38 PM
That's even better. The horse I'm looking at was just wormed within the last month or so. If I choose to purchase this horse, I would be bringing her to a new barn. Would you recommend worming a horse again when they're all settled in their new home, or waiting 6 months from their last worming? I'm not sure if worms can lay dormant and cause troubles when the horse goes through a move or stressful event in it's life.
    06-08-2011, 03:39 PM
I depends on what product they used and what the policy is of the barn you are taking the horse to.

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