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December 31, 2011

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Typical parasite treatments for horses and how they work

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Internal Parasites are a natural and healthy presence in horses at low levels.  Excessive parasite levels can cause serious health issues and must be reduced.  There are several traditional de-worming products on the market.  Typical parasite treatments include:

Quest: Containing Moxidectin, this paste dewormer is effective against large and small strongyle (including encysted small strongyles) , pinworms, lungworms and ascarids.

Ivermectin, Zimectrin, Equimectrin and Bimectrin: These paste treatments contain a drug generically known as ivermectin and are effective against large and small strongyles, pinworms, ascarids, stomach worms, bots, lungworms and threadworms.

Safe-Guard and Panacur: These paste medications contain fenbendazole, which is effective against large and small strongyles, pinworms and ascarids. Versions like Safe-Guard Power Dose and Panacur PowerPak are designed to be given over a period of successive days to eradicate encysted small strongyles.

Strongid P, Rotecin P and Exodus Paste: Paste dewormers containing pyrantel paomate, these medications are effective against large and small strongyles, pinworms and ascarids.

Equimax, Rotecin, Zimectrin Gold Anthelcide BQ and Benzelmin Anthelminitic: These paste dewormers contain both ivermectin and parziquantel, which is effective against tapeworms.

Strongid C, Strongid C2X with Equimax, Continuex and CW: These continuous dewormers are fed daily along with a horse’s grain as a preventative approach to parasite infestation. They are effective against large and small strongyles, pinworms and ascarids.

How Does Traditional Medicine Treat/Approach Internal Parasites?

Given the reuse of pastures and close proximity to manure, increased exposure is inescapable for the modern horse. As such, responsible owners have long been advised that aggressive, periodic deworming is essential to controlling parasite levels and maintaining a healthy horse.Before the 1960’s deworming required a veterinarian to pass a stomach tube through the horse’s nose to introduce powerful chemicals that killed any and all parasites. The process was difficult, time consuming and costly. Veterinarians always took a fecal egg count (FEC), to ensure the ordeal was necessary. In the decades since, over the counter paste dewormers simplified the process and allowed owners to conduct their own parasite management.

Today’s typical approach varies little from the recommendations established 30 years ago – purge deworming through the administration of a paste dewormer every six to eight weeks or rotational deworming through the use of two different purge dewormers at set intervals. Continuous dewormers that are added to daily grain rations, like Strongid C, are also common. However, manufacturers of continuous dewormers now recommend supplementing their products with paste dewormers biannually to effectively control small strongyles and tapeworms.

Traditional deworming  principles have changed little in 30 years and are flawed according to many, including Dr. Mark.  To learn more about the drawbacks of these medications, please read our post next week on the Shortfalls Of The Traditional Approach To Deworming.  For an extensive run-down on internal parasites types, click here!
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