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Types of Horse Wormers
 By Winniefield Park   •   26th Oct 2018   •   506 views   •   0 comments


We know that part of a good horse care includes developing our own deworming program. Gastrointestinal parasites, commonly called worms, can cause big health problems for your horse if they get out of hand. Horses get worms when they are pastured with other horses carrying worms. The eggs are shed in the horseís manure and picked up by other horses when they graze. Parasite eggs can live a long time in the grass and earth, so even if there have been no horses in a pasture for several years, the eggs can lie lurking in the grass, waiting to hatch inside a horse.

There are several types of parasites that horses can get. These include bots, strongyles, roundworms and tapes. Of these, tapes are least likely to be a problem, but can be the hardest to get rid of. Bots are spread by the botfly, so youíll likely see these bee-like insects harassing your horse, attaching their little yellowish eggs to body hair and mane. Young horses, horses in poor health and senior horses are most in danger of being affected by parasites. Itís felt that most horses carry some parasites in their system. Itís when the parasites proliferate when they can do a lot of damage. They can cause a dull coat, weight loss, diarrhea, lack of energy, colic symptoms and overall poor condition. If left too long, they can cause permanent damage to a horseís digestive system.

Thankfully, there are several products available to kill off the parasites. Some are considered chemical medications, and others are considered Ďnaturalí. There are pros and cons to each, and itís important to consult with your veterinarian to establish the best parasite control strategy for your horse.

Benzimidazole
Fenbendazole and Oxibendazole are the trade names of benzimidazole and youíll see names like Panacur, SafeGuard and others on the package. This drug kills common parasites like round worms, strongyles, pinworms and threadworms. It is the two drugs that will kill encysted strongyles.

Isoquinoline-pyrozine
This drug targets all the common parasites including bots and stomach worms. Itís an active ingredient in the products Quest Gel Plus and Zimecterin Gold.

Macrocyclic Lactone
Commonly known as ivermectin moxidectin, this drug is found in packages labeled with Zimecterin, Ivermectin, Bimectin, and the dewormer, Quest Gel. In addition to killing the same worms as Benzimidazole, with the exception of encysted parasites, this drug kills hair worms and lungworms.

Tetrahydropyrimidine
This drug kills strongyles, pinworms, and large roundworms. The drugís generic names are Pyrantel Pamoate and Pyrantel Tartrate. Pyrantel Tartrate also targets bots and some types of summer sores caused by flies.

Natural Dewormers
Some people arenít comfortable about giving their horses chemical dewormers and use things that are more natural. Besides keeping stables and pastures clean there are herbs and other substances that might help.

Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is made up of tiny fossilized spiky marine shells. Fed to your horse, they are supposed to pierce the outside of the parasites, causing them to die. Unfortunately, studies havenít been able to prove that it works. Plus, if inhaled, it can be irritating to the upper respiratory tract.

Nutraceutical
Things like pumpkin seeds, garlic, root vegetables, pre and probiotics and various herbal preparations are thought to discourage or kill parasites in horses. But, there is no evidence that any of them work.

So you can see why rotating deworming drugs is important since not all drugs will target all parasites. And, you donít want to over do things, because the parasites start to become resistant to the drug. Your vet is the best resource to help you come up with a plan that is right for your horse.
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