Parasites, Part 1—Bots

By Notafly (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Notafly (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0  (, via Wikimedia Commons

Warning:  if you are squeamish, you might not want to click on this link.. if you’re like a lot of horse people, you are going to yell, “Oh, gross … that’s cool!”

Bots In A Horse’s Stomach Seen Via Scope

Credit goes to Jim Meeker.

Ok, so if you’ve watched this you’re wondering how do I make sure my horse doesn’t have these in their stomach?

You deworm them.

Bots don’t show up on fecals.  If you have been deworming based on fecals, it is likely your horse has bots in its digestive tract. If you want to know more about how bots get into your horses body, do a Google search.  There are some areas of the world where there are no bots; I do not live in one of those and you probably don’t, either.

Equimax is my preferred bot killer.  Living in a subtropical environment as I do, I don’t wait for the first frost (the usual advice) to deworm for bots.  You may live somewhere that you have killing frosts in October, in North Carolina we don’t.  So I deworm for bots as soon as I see their frequency slowing down and then I deworm again after it gets truly cold with QuestPlus as part of my entire deworming program.

Bot infestations mimic many things:  ulcers, horses who are “picky” eaters, they can create colic and colic symptoms, and they certainly will stop your horse from gaining weight if that is your goal.

I am hearing more and more reports of people having horses scoped because of ulcer suspicions and finding a stomach full of bots instead.  The current trend of deworming based on fecals is causing a lot of misunderstanding; I suggest you discuss it with your vet and if you are not advised to deworm for bots then you will have to do some research on your own.  The video speaks for itself in my opinion.

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