Power Pak and colic?

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Power Pak and colic?

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  • Can power pack cause colic
  • Can a load of dead worms cause an impaction and kill a horse

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    08-20-2013, 02:08 PM
Power Pak and colic?

My vet has advised me to do a power pak on my young gelding, and I know a lot of you have said it does a great job. But my concern is the parasite load and him being colicky. What can I do do prevent or reduce his chances of getting it if anything? And if he does get a little colicky what can I do for him? :) Thank you!!
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    08-20-2013, 08:33 PM
It would depend on the circumstances. Did your vet see your horse (or was it advice given over the phone)? Do you know or have a reason to strongly suspect your horse has a heavy worm load? What did you last deworm with, and when?

If you know/suspect your horse has a heavy worm load, I'd be leery of doing the Power Pac. The problem with colic arises when a heavy worm load is killed off very rapidly and the mass of dead worms causes an impaction in the intestines.

The advantage of a Power Pac over a single dose of Panacur is that it kills encysted small strongyles. If your horse keeps coming up with worms after deworming, it could be from these "hibernating" worms that aren't killed by regular dewormers and are coming out once the chemical is out of the system, or it could be a case of resistance. If that's the case, the Power Pac would get rid of any of those encysted strongyles, and might be a powerful enough dose to kill them if they're somewhat resistant as well.
Lacelynn likes this.
    08-21-2013, 02:56 PM
I just got him 2 weeks ago, and don't know his history. He is also only 1 year and 3 months old. I did give him avermectin when he got to our barn. The vet came out a week later and listened to his vitals. She assessed him by the size of his belly and the fact the previous owner called him jumpy and spooky. He looked like he hadn't been fed much and definitely wasn't handled, so she recommended a Power Pak. He has not had a fecal done, although I am kind of opting towards doing one just to see. And if he doesn't have a very high parasite load, was thinking of using Quest instead of Panacur power pak... What are your thoughts on that?
    08-21-2013, 03:20 PM
I generally like Quest (and Quest Plus), but my biggest concern with Quest would be the dosage. It doesn't have as big a safety margin as other dewormers, and you will probably have a hard time getting an accurate weight on your gelding unless you have access to a livestock scale. The usual methods (weight tape, or formula based on heart girth and length) aren't super accurate for adult horses, and IIRC they're even less so for immature horses. Quest is also highly effective, which could cause the same problems with impaction colic if the worm load is heavy.

I'd think doing an FEC would be your best course of action. If it doesn't come back clean, then regular Panacur or the Panacur Power Pac might be a good option (since it's a different class of drug than the ivermectin he got recently), then maybe a follow up FEC in a couple weeks. Then, once you've had your first hard frost consider using something that kills tapeworms (Zimectrin Gold, Equimaxx, or Quest Plus)
    08-21-2013, 11:34 PM
Ok thank you!! I actually work on a horse farm which is also where he is boarded. And we have a livestock scale in our barn :) so dosage is not a concern! He has actually gained about 100 lbs since I got him, and is much healthier (coat, attitude and clearness of eyes) than when I picked him up. Poor guy! I will get an FEC done this week and decide from there! Thanks so much for the advice!
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    08-23-2013, 06:45 PM
Update to Power Pak question

Bucks fecal came back negative. Now I know sometimes that can happen and there ARE actually eggs/live worms in the horse, even though the test said there are not. So what should I do? Just a dose of Quest Plus to make sure there is absolutely nothing? For those who did not read my earlier post, Buck is new to me, so I did not know his prior worming schedule, and seriously doubt he had one. So when I got him a few weeks ago he got a dose of ivermectin because his belly was very large, his ribs were showing quite prominently, his tail was all but rubbed off from the base to halfway down and his coat looked like hell. This was under the advice of our vet as well and she also suggested Panacur Power Pack but since he tested negative, I feel like there probably isn't a very large parasite load, and may be safe just to give him Quest Plus? What are your thoughts? :)
    08-23-2013, 07:04 PM
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I think if you're careful with the dosage, doing a quest dewormer should be fine at this point, and you can start him on a normal rotation that your vet recommends according to your area.
Lacelynn likes this.
    08-23-2013, 07:11 PM
I would hold off on using anything for now and use Quest Plus after your first hard freeze. If your area won't freeze for a while, you could do another FEC in 8-12 weeks.
Lacelynn likes this.
    08-23-2013, 07:11 PM
With a FEC coming back negative and previously deworming him with an avermectin product, I would powerpak him. The first two show that it should be safe, ie no huge worm burden to cause colic, but I would still do it to be sure (my personal preference) since it ought to be perfectly safe. The powerpak is a completely different drug so will be effective on ones that that avermectin may have missed.

The other thing is that if you just used an avermectin, using quest, another avermectin type drug (moxidectin) isn't going to do anything you haven't already done. FEC can also come back false-negative if it's only been a couple of weeks since the last deworming- they're more likely to be useful a couple of months out.
Lacelynn likes this.
    08-24-2013, 01:53 PM
Ok, so best thing would be to wait and check FEC again in a month or so. Thank you everyone for the advice! He seems to be doing a lot better now and eating well, although he was rubbing his butt this morning. Does that always mean they have worms or could he just have itchy skin? His coat is becoming a lot shinier but he does have quite a bit of dandruff still. Would giving him an oil such as cold pressed soybean oil be good for his coat and dry skin?

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