Positive for Strongyles: What is cheaper?

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Positive for Strongyles: What is cheaper?

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  • Treating high strongyle egg counts in yearlings
  • Strongyles levels in horse

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    01-14-2009, 12:43 AM
Positive for Strongyles: What is cheaper?

We tested 2 out of 10 horses on the premises and they both came back positive for high levels of Strongyles. I will just do the Panacur Powerpac for my horses.. But I'm sure my boarders won't be happy about having to spend an additional $50 to worm their horses!

Is there a cheaper alternative?
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    01-14-2009, 12:50 AM
We had a problem with parasites a few years back and found out two weeks after having wormed all the horses with Ivermectin. Our vet explained that Ivermectin has been around so long that there is an increased incidence of resistance to it now.

We gave all of our horses the Panacur PowerPac and that included the boarded horses. Yes, it was spendy, but none of the owners complained. $50 is far cheaper than a sick horse with parasite infestation. I do not know of any good alternative, sorry!
    01-14-2009, 10:24 AM
Yeah I certainly don't mind paying the $50 (although my husband does) but some of my boarders just paid board....had the vet come out....we all just had feet done. A specific boarder I know is going to have a cow over $50 especially since she has x-rays looming for this horse she is trying to sell! And the horse isn't worth much either...

I was thinking something like....Week one fenbenzadole, week two ivermectin, week 3 moxidectin, week 4 ivermectin... which is like $20 instead of $50.

Looking at the life cycles of strongyles why wouldn't this work?
    01-14-2009, 10:56 AM
First, understand that just because 2 horses show a high strongyle count doesn't mean that the other horses will. We now understand that 20% of horses carry 80% of the parasite load. So what kind of parasite load each horse has in a single pasture can vary alot based upon that horse's personal resistance to parasites.

And just because there is a high strongyle count doesn't mean that you need to deworm mulitple times in a row to kill the strongyles. A single appropriate dose of dewormer (so long as you don't choose one that strongyles are resistant to) will clear the parasites from your horse. And no amount of repeat deworming on the program you've lined out above will lower your parasite load on your pastures and deworming that frequently will help speed the development of resistance to the drugs you are using. There is also no reason to just go ahead and power pac your horses due to a high strongyle count. (I have to say that I'm not a big fan of power pac dosing after the study in Germany that showed that it causes severe GI inflammation and even ulceration.) Again, a single dose of an appropriate drug at the labelled dose will kill the strongyles and if you want to treat for encysted strongyles simply use moxidectin. A single dose of that drug is much cheaper than power pac dosing, doesn't cause the severe GI inflammation and will prevent shedding of strongyle eggs in great quantities for 12 weeks.

If you go with the deworming plan you have above you will be wasting your boarder's money and dosing way too soon after using some of those products.

You need to look at the overall situation for these horses to plan out a deworming program. Being in Texas, you (and I) are currently in time of year when parasite reinfection rates are highest. But what are the other factors in the situation--how many horses in a pasture, their ages, are feces picked up regularly and if so how often?
    01-14-2009, 03:10 PM
Not quite, Ryle. A single dose of dewormer will not do it in this case. Yes it will clear out the parasites in their system, but it does NOT kill the ones in the pasture already. Which is why you have to continually treat them, because if they have a high count, and the pasture area is small, then there is little doubt that the other horses have them. (If, on the other hand, you have large pastures... you have a better chance of them not having such a high count.) This is an 'infestation', not a normal 8-week rotation of wormers.

I like her rotation idea. I know that safeguard also makes fenbenzadole, but I am unaware of the price difference.

Also, be careful for parasite colic! If a lot of dead parasites try to pass through the gut at the same time, sometimes you can get an impaction. Watch them closely, and maybe even give them a little oil in their feed. ;)

Good luck!
    01-14-2009, 03:13 PM
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...how long is your barn quarantined for?
    01-14-2009, 03:21 PM
Take it from me - it is worth the money to worm them correctly. But, I would get them checked afterwards. My chestnut gelding almost died last week from what started out as a high parasite load. We wormed him with 5 doses of Safeguard the end of August. Had to do it again the end of October with 2 doses of Panacur (blood work showed he was still a "little" wormy according to the vet) and I was just about to put my end of the year dose of Equimax through him when he started having a problem with minor colic.

One thing led to another and he ended up getting a virus or something, all the medication has given him a possible ulcer (so now I am treating him for that).

We bought this horse knowing that he had been neglected, but we liked him and he has nice bloodlines. Unfortunately, he just seems to have a hard time fighting off worms. So, our vet suggested that he be on the daily wormer. I hope that helps. I really don't need to go through all this again.

What you could do is have the horses fecal test done. My other horse who is in the same pasture with him doesn't have a worm problem. It seems to just be one of them (thank goodness!!!!)

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    01-14-2009, 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by mayfieldk    
Not quite, Ryle. A single dose of dewormer will not do it in this case. Yes it will clear out the parasites in their system, but it does NOT kill the ones in the pasture already. Which is why you have to continually treat them, because if they have a high count, and the pasture area is small, then there is little doubt that the other horses have them. (If, on the other hand, you have large pastures... you have a better chance of them not having such a high count.) This is an 'infestation', not a normal 8-week rotation of wormers.
Yes, a single dose will only kill the parasites the horse currently has and won't kill the ones in the pasture, bue deworming weekly is going to just be a waste of money because there is going to be little to nothing in the horse to kill each week. Even for an infestation you should treat at appropriate intervals based upon the last drug used. That means deworming again 4 weeks after using pyrantel, 6-8 weeks after using ivermectin and 12 weeks after using moxidectin. This rotation will minimize pasture contamination by minimizing the number of ova that are redeposited into the pasture. This program has been used on many large farms with great success but it does take time. Any plan to reduce parasite loads on pastures takes time because the larva can survive on pastures for months after being shed. This is another reason why just deworming once a week for 4 weeks will not be effective at minimizing pasture contamination---you won't have ova shed for 4 weeks (wouldn't anyway for that period if you used a single effective dewormer at the beginning of that 4 weeks) but the larva and ova that are already in the pasture can survive there for months and thus serve as a continual source of reinfection.

There is no drug that you would have to deworm again one week after using to stop more eggs being shed into the pasture at that point. To prevent recontamination you deworm based upon the Egg Reappearance Period of the drug last used--none of the commonly used drugs have an egg reappearance period of 1 week unless you are using a drug that the strongyles are resistant too.

Another important point is that fenbendazole shouldn't even be included in a program targeted at strongyles because the parasites are resistant to that drug in more than 90% of areas studied. Pyrantel also has resistance issues in strongyles, but it's only around 50% of areas tested so there is less chance that the parasites in your area are resistant to it, but it's still probably not a great choice for treating a heavy strongyle infection. Ivermectin or moxidectin would be the best choice for dealing with a heavy strongyle infection as there has only been one study showing any evidence of strongyle resistance to ivermectin and none so far showing resistance to moxidectin.

BTW, the "every 8 week rotation deworming plan" is no longer recommended either. If you keep up with the changes in equine medicine and deworming you will find that strategic deworming is now recommended. And even if you don't want to go to the trouble of a strategic deworming program, deworming every 8 weeks (unless you are using only ivermectin) still allows for parasite recontamination of pastures due to deworming at incorrect intervals and likely due to using drugs that are not effective against strongyles.
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    01-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Our vet explained that Ivermectin has been around so long that there is an increased incidence of resistance to it now.

Alot of times worms become resistant to dewormers because horse are underdosed. If you don't kill off all of the worms then the ones that survive will develop immunity and pass it on to their offspring.

To avoid this I always use more dewormer than I think I need. When I use the weight tape before hand I add about 200 lbs. So for the average 1100 lb. Horse you would need to buy 2 tubes of dewormer. It's expensive, but I would rather have a complete kill and the extra dewormer accounts for weight tape discrepancies and any dewormer that doesn't make it to the stomach

Plus Ivermectin is safe to like 20 doses (or something ridiculous like that), the only one you can't add extra to is moxidectin.
    01-14-2009, 08:54 PM
To me worming 4 weeks in a row seems like it would cause the horse some internal problems. If he's that bad wouldn't it be better to hit him with a good wormer followed by another one that covers different strands of worms 2 weeks later?

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