Did you know tapeworm is an important risk factor for colic in horses?*

Adult tapeworms cluster around the narrow junction between the small and the large intestine, resulting in blockages and preventing the passage of food.

All horses are at risk of tapeworm infection, but younger and older horses, in particular, can require more tapeworm treatments.** One study found 55% of horses aged 1-5 years required treatment, along with 41% of new arrivals.***

Tapeworm eggs are passed in segments (pictured) which means they're not necessarily detected by routine faecal egg count testing.

3D Worming recommends remembering the 3Ds when testing or treating for tapeworm: Direction, Dosage & Delivery


You should incorporate testing or treating for tapeworm into your annual worming programme, once or twice per year.

  • Faecal egg counts do not detect tapeworm. If specific testing is not performed, treatment should be administered.
  • Treat for tapeworm in spring & autumn, at the start & end of the grazing season.
  • There are only two wormer ingredients which are effective against tapeworms:
    • PYRANTEL (use at twice the standard dose rate) which controls one species of tapeworm
    • PRAZIQUANTEL (standard dose) which kills all three species of tapeworm known to affect horses


  • You should have an accurate idea of your horse’s weight, and don’t forget this can change significantly through the grazing season!
  • For help on using a weigh tape watch the ‘how to’ video at www.3dworming.co.uk
  • Make sure your wormer treatment is sufficient to treat your horse’s body weight. Syringes can contain 600kg or 700 kg doses. If your horse is larger, tablets are available to treat up to 800kg.
Worm for tapeworm with a syringe or tablets
Syringes can be used to treat horses up to 700kg


  • Avoid spit out. For horses that are difficult to worm with a syringe, tablets are available.
  • Don’t forget wormer drugs can be poisonous to other animals. Dispose of your used syringes carefully!

Questions about worming?

If you still have questions, or would like some advice about worming your horse, take a look at our Confused About Worming? section, or contact our SQP Hannah.

*Proudman, C.J. and Holstock, N.J. (2000) Investigation of an outbreak of tapeworm-associated colic in a training yard. Equine Vet J.  
**Lightbody, K.L., Matthews, J.B., Kemp-Symonds, J.G., Lambert, P.A. and Austin, C.J. (2018) Use of a saliva-based diagnostic test to identify tapeworm infection in horses in the UK. Equine Vet J. 
***Proudman, C.J., Holmes, M.A., Shearan, A.S., Edwards, S.E.R. and Trees, A.J. (1997) Immunoepidemiology of the equine tapeworm Anoplocephala perfoliata: age-intensity profile and age-dependency of antibody subtype responses. Parasitology.