Deworming Programs

parasite_control_plan

Example Parasite Control Plan

There are big changes in deworming recommendations.  Each horse needs to have a
deworming program suited to his/her individual needs

 Sample Adult Horse Deworming Schedule

    • Low  Shedders (<200 EPG – eggs per gram of manure)
      • Fecal Egg Count performed prior to deworming in spring
      • Spring (April) – moxidectin(Quest®), ivermectin (Equell ®, Zimectrin ®, Rotectin ®, IverCare ®, etc), or double-dose fenbendazole for 5 days (Panacur®PowerPak)
      • Fall (November) – ivermectin w/ praziquantel (Equimax®, Zimectrin Gold®) or moxidectin with praziquantel (QuestPlus®)
    • Moderate Shedders (200 – 500 EPG)
      • Fecal Egg Count performed prior to deworming in spring
      • Spring (April) –– moxidectin(Quest®), ivermectin (Equell ®, Zimectrin ®, Rotectin ®, IverCare ®, etc), or double-dose fenbendazole for 5 days (Panacur®PowerPak)
      • Late Summer (July) – pyrantel pamoate (Strongid paste®, TapeCare Plus®, etc), fenbendazole (Panacur®, Safe-Guard®)
      • Early Winter (November) – ivermectin w/ praziquantel (Equimax ®, Zimectrin Gold ®) or moxidectin with praziquantel (Quest®)
    • High Shedders (>500 EPG)
      • Fecal Egg Count performed prior to deworming in spring and fall to monitor for signs of resistance.  May need fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT)
      • Spring (April) – moxidectin(Quest®), ivermectin (Equell ®, Zimectrin ®, Rotectin ®, IverCare ®, etc), or double-dose fenbendazole for 5 days (Panacur®PowerPak)
      • Summer (July) – pyrantel pamoate (Strongid paste ®, TapeCare Plus®, etc), fenbendazole(Panacur, SafeGuard®) or Oxibendazole (Anthelcide®)
      • Early Fall (August/September) – ivermectin (Equell ®, Zimectrin ®, Rotectin ®, IverCare ®, etc)
      • Late Fall/early Winter (Nov/Dec) – ivermectin w/ praziquantel (Equimax®, Zimectrin Gold®) or moxidectin with praziquantel (Quest®)

 Quest: the toxic level is only 3X normal level and it is easy to overdose.  Therefore using a weight tape is recommended and you should not give it to miniature horses or donkeys and to any horse or pony under 1 year in age.  Also, do not give to any horse that is sick or has a chronic illness such as Cushing’s disease.

Sample Foal Schedule

    • 2-3 months of age– oxibendazole (Anthelcide EQ®) or fenbendazole (Panacur®, SafeGuard®)
    • 4 -5 months – oxibendazole (Anthelcide EQ®) or fenbendazole (Panacur®, SafeGuard®)
    • 6-7 months – pyrantel pamoate (Strongid®)
    • 8-9 months – ivermectin (Equell®, Zimectrin®, Rotectin®, IverCare®, etc)
    • 12 months – moxidectin with praziquantel (Quest®)

Pregnant Mares

    • Deworm as usual, try to make spring deworming approx 4 weeks prior to foaling.

Daily Deworming- controversial

    • This involves the daily administration of pyrantel pamoate (Strongid C®), as well as ivermectin (Equell®) administered in the spring and ivermectin with praziquantel (Equimax®) administered in the fall. This may be a good protocol for an excessively high shedder or an immune compromised horse.  If using daily deworming,  horses must be segregated for their daily feeding. Fecal egg counts should still be performed every 6 months to 1 year. Foals can be started after on this program once they reach 2 – 3 months of age.

Important points and recommendations

      1. Non-chemical parasite management:
        • Rotate pastures
        • Cross graze pastures with ruminants if possible
        • Remove manure frequently
        • Harrow/drag pastures in hot/dry weather and keep horses out for 2 months
        • Avoid overstocking pastures
      2. Deworming schedules (in general):
        • Deworm foals every two to three months, starting at 2 months of age, for the first year of their life
        • Individual horses will often require different deworming programs, even if living in the same or similar environments.
      3. Measure the success of parasite control by doing fecal analysis at least once a year
        • Fecal Egg Count (FEC)—an estimate of the parasite eggs in the horse
          • Talk to your veterinarian before doing a fecal analysis to be sure enough time has passed since your horse’s last deworming for eggs to have reappeared in the feces. This Egg Reappearance Period differs depending on the dewormer used.
        • Fecal egg count reduction test—worm egg count should decrease 90% when measured 14 days after deworming.
      4. Eliminate tapeworms from horses once a year with use of a dewormer containing praziquantel.  This is done preferrably in the fall due to the life cycle of the tapeworm.
      5. Small strongyles (usually a pasture parasite) in their larval stage are resistant to many dewormers. In their encysted form, they are resistant to all but moxidectin (Quest®) or a double dose of fenbendazole for 5 consecutive days (Panacur ® PowerPak). Preferrably treat for the encysted form in early spring or early winter and keep yearlings separated. They tend to shed the most small strongyles
      6. Don’t use the same pasture or paddocks year after year for mares and foals. This allows build up of a high level of ascarid eggs which are hardy and can live for years in the environment (even stalls).

Note: Involving your veterinarian in formulating your deworming program is essential to ensure you have an effective program tailored specifically to the needs of your individual horses.