Worm woes-help me identify *with somewhat graphic pic*
*Long, sorry- with one somewhat graphic picture at the end*
New horse owner here, first time with horse worm problems...Bought my mare in July from the barn where she is currently boarded. They owned her the previous two years. Throughout that time, she was always on a regular, rotational dewormer schedule. Per my boarding contract, BM is responsible for deworming of all horses owned by the barn, as well as boarders' horses to keep everyone on the same schedule.
The first week of August, I'm going through my normal grooming routine and see what I'm sure is a worm poking out of my mare's rectum. It is pale white/translucent, the best I can describe they way it looks is like a bean sprout. I removed the worm, saw no others, and no evidence of tail scratching. I did inform BM; all horses were due for dewormer anyway, so everyone got their Ivermectin. No one else showed signs of worms.
A couple of weeks later, same thing- grooming, see worm poking out, and also notice lots of crusty yellow/white discharge around the area. Unfortunately no one else was there to help me assess, and everyone at the barn sort of shrugged it off when I brought it up, told me she was probably passing dead worms, etc. Still, I was sure I had seen the same bean sprout thing, did a lot of research and suspected pinworms because of the discharge and tail rubbing that I was now seeing, so insisted on doing something. Called the vet, who said the only worm likely to be seen this time of year was tapeworm (?) so recommended deworming again with something praziquantel-based. He said a fecal egg count wouldn't be useful for tapeworms or pinworms, so not to bother, just go ahead and deworm again, so I did.
Now it's another two weeks on, and there has been a LOT of tail rubbing- 3 distinct sores under the dock of her tail. She's also been in heat, so I thought maybe she was rubbing because of that, but today I saw two more bean sprout-like worms emerging from her rectum. I'm embarrassed to post the picture below because it's pretty gross, but if you can make it out on the right, it's a clear worm essentially disgorging a slew of yellowy sticky liquid, which again makes me think pinworms laying eggs? When we attempted to pull it off, it retracted back into her body. Can anyone help me with what this might be based on your own experience?
Tomorrow morning I'm heading to the vet's office with a manure sample and this picture, as this just doesn't seem right to me. I have no idea what the next step would be- yet another dewormer??- but I'm getting really nervous about that because deworming too frequently just builds resistance, right?
One other piece to this- over the spring, my mare really seemed to have a bad hay belly, but most of the other mares at the barn did too. Around July, the barn switched to a far higher quality hay, and slowly all the other horses started to look better. My mare never lost that hay belly look, although admittedly she's only being ridden ~3x/week right now, so that may just be lack of fitness. As I looked at her today though, I wondered if her hay belly was really a wormy belly? The 2nd picture is her from last week, shows her belly.
I'm really at a loss here, so while I'll be consulting with the vet tomorrow, I'm also interested in other opinions.
I think you're making an excellent decision by having your vet do a fecal egg count - I had those done regularly last year after bringing my QH home, and the 1st one showed a very high count (no sign of worms - just did the count as a precaution). My vet had me give her Quest, then bring in another sample a few weeks later. Voila! The count was way down and at a normal level. Hope things get resolved for your girl, and the best of luck to you! :)
My vet recommends Panacur Powerpac once a year. It kills off everything. It is a 57gram tube given 5 days in a row.
When you can actually see them coming out that usually means they are full of worms and at that stage one tube of dewormer will only kill off a small percentage.
Powerpak is great. We just used it on my daughters new barrel horse. He had been wormed with Eqvalan and still was ribby... Teeth done, etc. Used the Powerpak on him, he is already gaining weight and looking so much better after a week.
if she's full of worms powerpck can be dangerous and cause impaction colic so be careful with that stuff
What Shaggy said - if you're seeing worms, she is full them and that makes Powerpacking dangerous. Don't do it:-|
Ditto having the vet do a fecal count and let the vet tell you what and how much to use to worm her.
In The Old Days, vets would tube extremely wormy horses - I don't know if that is still done or not. I had to have it done with an auction horse I bought, back in the early 70's:-(
At any rate, the vet needs to control this horse's worming for now:-)
In spite of what the BO says, I don't believe the BO practices what Thy Preaches when it comes to sticking to a worming schedule. I have a hard time believing you are seeing worms if it's been wormed on time-every time:-(
Having the fecal egg count is the right way to go as it will give the info on what type of worms your horse has in its digestive system
It is correct that killing off huge numbers of worms in one go can cause an obstruction so you do need to be careful
Its hard to identify the worm from the pic (yuk), it could even be a tapeworm segment
Its really important to use a wormer with a different active ingredient each time you worm as this helps against building up a resistance to a particular chemical and also targets particular worms that are more likely to be eradicated by some products than others which is why the egg counts are such a good idea though it needs a blood test to show presence of encysted worms. Quarterly worming should be sufficient. Most vets are now in line with current research that indicates that daily worming with the same product is the biggest cause of resistant worms and should be avoided
Tests in the UK have highlighted a widespread resistance to Fenbendazole which is the active ingredient in Panacur Powerpac so if this is used follow up fecal egg counts should be done as it may have had no effect
Well since Powerpac is the only dewormer on the market that kills a very widespread range of worms, please tell me how you would go about getting rid of all the worms in an infested horse?
When I got my mare in January she had been on the 8 week rotation of deworming. Come June we find out she is infested with worms. It doesn't matter the schedule if the worms were never properly taken care of in the first place. It is very easy for a horse that is on a rotational schedule to become infested with worms if they had them when the schedule was started.
My mare was given Powerpac when she was infested with them. The vet, after drawing blood and an exam, concluded this to be the best way. She never even got runny poo.
Now I'm not saying that everyone should go out and give their horse this stuff. I recommend talking with your vet as to if this is the best option. I do not see why people get their feathers all ruffled up over deworming. It's a simple concept, if the horse has worms, get rid of them.
If you have an alternative to get rid of the worms completely, please tell. As of now I haven't found a product in the US that does what powerpac does.
Whilte I don't think it's common, I have read of more than one rescue horse that has died from impaction as a result of Powerpacking them.
I would never Powerpac a horse without getting the vet involved to determine whether or not that method is safe for that particular horse:-)
It is not the PowerPac in itself that is dangerous. Killing very large numbers of worms at one time is dangerous, and that is why a vet, preferrably an equine vet, should be involved.
A few years ago, my trainer lost a horse to impaction colic. The impaction was a mass of dead worms, killed by a dose of ivermectin.
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