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All wormers are not created equal!

8 Worming Tips To Care For Your Horse by Norah Dombrowski

1) Worming your horse regularly might not be enough, and he probably has worms,

 If you notice:

  • Loss of weight
  • Plumps up after a wormer then goes down again.
  • You increase hay or grain, & he plumps up, & then goes down again.
  • Dull coat.
  • Hair texture is rough.
  • Diarrhea
  • Pot belly
  • Tail rubbing.

It doesn't mean you're not trying or the horse's program is not regular.

2) You must rotate the wormers. All wormers are not created equal.

  •  Many wormers have the same ingredients sold under different brand names[i].
  •  It is essential you change the drug.
    • Praziquantel - kills Tapeworm  (Equimax Paste,Zimecterin Gold or Quest Plus Gel)
    • Moxidectin or Fenbendazole kills Encysted Small Strongyles (Quest or Power Pack 5 days)
    • Daily dewormer - does NOT kill Encysted Small Strongyles, Bots and Tapeworms.
    • Some worms have built a tolerance to particular wormers, ask your veterinarian.
    • Bottom line - a minimum of 3 different drugs.

3) When a new horse comes into the barn.

  • I always give a "mild" wormer after the first week, I don't want to shock the system too much with the settling in time.
  • Four weeks in, I start an aggressive worming treatment tip #8 see below.
  • Remove the manure *** this is important so re-infestation does not happen.
  • A prep may be required before worming. Please consult a qualified veterinarian if you believe your horse is infested with worms, especially with young horses. Just blasting the horse with wormer may not be safe and cause severe colic.

4) This is not the time to cut financial corners.

  • You will save money in feeding costs and vet bills.
  • Prevent collapse, YES, they can collapse because of worms.
  • Prevent COLIC[ii].horse-wormer-199x300.jpg
  • Worms can become large enough to actually block the digestive tract, causing the horse to become seriously ill or even die. This can be seen in foals or yearlings[iii]. 

5) Living in warmer climates.

  • Worms will not die in the winter months there.
  • All year you need to constantly rotate the wormers. Ask your vet about your location.
  • Keep stalls and paddocks clean. Do not spread manure where horses graze! Keep manure in one place or off to a corner on your property away from the horses.
  • Dispose of manure properly. This helps prevent re-infestation.
  • Worms in warmer climates are a larger problem than most people think. 

6) Why one tube might not do it.

I like to give bigger bodied horses that are 16.2 hands and up, 1 - 1 1/2 tubes of wormer (except for Quest Gel - use the recommended dose) because:

  • There are horses that spit some out.
  • Some of the tubes don't have enough weight for larger horses.
  • While applying - most of it gets on the side of horse's mouth or on you.

Tip: Put your finger in the horse's mouth where the bit goes and push slightly down so the horse moves his tongue and any loose food or hay "wades" will fall out, before giving the wormer.

  • Example of how I see it, using simple numbers. Lets just say the horse accumulates 100 worms every six weeks. One tube kills 75 worms. So 25 are still living. In the next six weeks, another 100 worms appear. Added together that's 125 worms. He gets one tube of wormer again killing only 75 worms, so now 50 worms are living. So on and so on. The horse was on a program for wormer but it wasn't good enough over the long haul.
  •  You don't know how many or types of worms are in the horse.
  • Note: be careful of weight for ponies, foals and minis - do not over dose.

Total elimination of parasites in horses is not a realistic expectation[iv].

7) What can you do to lessen infestation.

  • Clean stalls and paddocks frequently.
  • Dispose of manure properly.
  • Avoid too many different horses on one paddock.
  • "Quarantine" new horses and especially dispose of their manure properly.
  • Deworm all horses at the same time - take this with a grain of salt.
  • Find out which wormers the worms have built a tolerance for. 

8) Aggressive worming treatment. Once a year or if you suspect your horse might have worms even though he is on a plan.

  • Fecal Egg Count is NOT 100% it is one tool to help know what is happening with your horse and worming program but is not totally reliable.
    • o   Pinworm eggs are laid around the anus area and not in the manure so they cannot be seen in the fecal egg count[v].
    • o   Tapeworms are often undetected using normal fecal flotation methods.
    • o   You may also have 10,000 encysted small strongyles and not a single egg.

How many people will really do this? Be honest - not many and for many different reasons - not judging here. If I suspect worms - I just do an aggressive treatment.

Include for:

  • Tapeworm - Praziquantel or Pyrantel Pamoate - kills tape worms  
  • Encysted small strongyles  - Moxidectin  in Quest or Fenbendazole Power pack of 5days.

 

Aggressive worming treatments

  •      PowerPac - 5 does over 5 days. Plus a wormer for Tapeworm .

Each Panacur PowerPac horse dewormer treatment contains five 57 gram (double-dose) syringes of Fenbendazole. Administer 1 syringe per 1250 lbs daily for 5 consecutive days. Each gram of paste 10% contains 100 mg Fenbendazole.
The condition referred to as "hay belly" is often an abdomen infested with encysted strongyles, and may not be properly treated with regular horse deworming. In many climates, the most advantageous times for use are spring and fall, to eliminate the horse's worm load before and after exposure to pasture. for the control of large strongyles, encysted early third stage, late third stage and fourth stage cyathostome larvae, small strongyles, pinworms, ascarids and arteritis caused by 4th stage larvae of Strongylus vulgaris in horses.

OR

4 different wormers over 4 weeks. Include a wormer for Tapeworm (praziquantel).

 Next wormer on the regular rotation can be Quest for Encysted small strongyles.     

 

***Quest Gel is great in a maintenance plan for healthy horses, not for aggressive worming treatments. Please use extreme caution when administering the product to foals, young and miniature horses, as over-dosage may result in serious adverse reactions. Do not use in sick, debilitated, or underweight animals[vi].

 

                                                                  WORMING GUIDE 

          This chart gives a basic about which worms, what kills them, and the best time of year.

                    You determine how many times of year to worm in your barn surroundings.

COMMON WORMS

DRUG

WORMERS

TIME OF YEAR

 Large Strongyles  aka  bloodworms

 redworms

 

Oxibendazole

Ivermectin

 

Anthelcide EQ

Zimecterin

Equimectrin

Fall

 Small Strongyles

 

 Encysted larval stage of  Small Strongyles,

 

Moxidectin

or

Fenbendazole

Quest

or

Panacur Powerpac 5days

Safe-Guard Power-Dose 5days

Fall - Winter

or suspected infestation of worms

 

 

 Tapeworms

 

Praziquantel

Pyrantel Pamoate

Equimax

Zimecterin Gold

Spring and Fall

 Roundworms (ascarids)

 

Fenbendazole

Oxibendazole

Ivermectin

Praziquantel

Pyrantel Pamoate

Any brand without Moxidectin

All year

 Pinworms

 

Fenbendazole

Oxibendazole

Ivermectin

Pyrantel Pamoate

Any brand without Moxidectin

All year

 Bots

 

Ivermectin

or

Moxidectin

Equell

 Zimectrin

 Equimectrin

 IverCare

or

Equest

Quest

 

Winter - spring

Fall -Winter

 Lungworms

 

Ivermectin

or

Moxidectin

Equell

 Zimectrin

 Equimectrin

 IverCare

or

Equest

Quest

 

All year

 Threadworms

 

Oxibendazole

Ivermectin

Pyrantel Pamoate

Anthelcide EQ

Equell

 Zimectrin

 Equimectrin

 IverCare

 

All year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN A NUT SHELL

To make it easier, follow this baseline. You can always add to it and find the brands you trust.

A minimum of 3 different drugs is needed to complete a well rounded worming program.

Ivermectin 2 -3 per year - is the most popular and kills many worms - suggested dosing every 8 - 10 weeks. It does not kill Tapeworm or Encysted Small Strongyles.

Praziquantel 2 per year - kills Tapeworm  (Equimax Paste, Zimecterin Gold or Quest Plus Gel)            spring and fall

Moxidectin or Fenbendazole 1 per year - kills Encysted Small Strongyles (Quest or Power Pack 5 days)    winter

 

The above information is for mature horses only. Please seek veterinarian advice for foals, young horses, ponies and minis. Always consult with your veterinarian before any treatments. Each horse, location and climate play a large role in a proper worming program.



[i]Parasite Control in Horses, Kevin H. Kline, PhD, Professor of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois,12/06/2005

[ii] The Truth about worms in Horses - the whole story, Alex Wilson -Equine and Ellen Collinson (Iridologisst & Herbalist).

[iii] The Truth about worms in Horses - the whole story, Alex Wilson -Equine and Ellen Collinson (Iridologisst & Herbalist).

[iv]Parasite Control in Horses, Kevin H. Kline, PhD, Professor of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois,12/06/2005

[vi]http://datasheets.scbt.com Fort Dodge is now part of Pfizer Animal Health