I am not familiar with the boards yet so sorry if this is a repeated question!! I am so LOST!! I adopted a horse 2 weeks ago from a very well known rescue in Texas and he's great so far but they won't get back to me about his last vet check up and what the last dewormer that they used was! She just said he was dewormed on August 3rd and that he would be due again in three or so weeks. So I asked my neighbor how it works and she said to give him Equimax this time. I called the local vet and they said Quest. (Which I have heard bad things about) and not to do it til Labor Day.
SO I am confused... is there a schedule people follow? Do you switch to a different one every time or use the same one from labor day to memorial day?
When I boarded my horses in my teens I NEVER had to do this stuff! I feel like such an idiot! I'm going to ask my neighbor to do it for me the first time, since Ive never done it before (whole other problem)
Well most vets I know are recommending a power pack late fall and again in he spring. Other than that so fecals quarterly and only worm if indicated by the fecal.
I would use an Ivermectin, like Equimax, before I used the Quest or Quest Plus. Normally I'd say have a fecal egg count done before deworming, but since he's from a rescue, he's likely loaded and you need to reduce the load slowly. Quest is a VERY efficient dewormer and will kill off a big load all at once which can cause an impaction colic. If you do Ivermectin then it's less efficient but will get rid of a lot but less likely to cause a problem. When I rescued horses (back before the fecal egg count) the rule of thumb was 1/2 dose of Ivermectin if the horse wasn't emaciated. So if the horse weighed 1000 lbs, give him a 500 lb dose of dewormer. Then in a week, repeat, and 2 weeks after that a full dose and 1 month after that a full dose of Quest, just be sure you have a fairly accurate weight on the horse before you use Quest. With Ivermectin, Fenbendazole and Pyrantel Pamoate, it's much less likely to overdose them. With Quest, you need to be sure to be accurate. I've used Quest ever since it came out and have never had a single horse have an issue.
After you've done your thorough deworming and he's gaining weight, I'd have an FEC done, and then only deworm after an FEC with whatever your vet says. If he's not exposed to a lot of other horses and his pasture isn't contaminated, then you'll probably get down to 1X/year deworming.
The latest recommendation is to deworm based off of fecal egg counts, but since tapeworms don't show up in FEC's, you should deworm with a product that kills tapeworms (Quest Plus, Zimectrin Gold, or Equimax) at least once a year.
Some horses tend to fight off worms on their own better than others, and may only need to be dewormed once or twice a year. Others seem to be particularly susceptible and do better on a daily feed-through dewormer (but will still need that yearly dose of paste dewormer to kill tapeworms!)
If the horse was just dewormed 11 days ago, I'd let him go until 9/28 (8 weeks) and then do a FEC to see if he has any worm load. It's a pretty simple test- you just collect a small manure sample and bring it to your vet's office (or you can mail the sample in to a lab) If it comes up clean or very low, no need to deworm. Otherwise, your vet can advise you on which product to use based on the types of eggs that they saw.
The exception to this would be if your horse hasn't been at the rescue very long and/or is still not quite back to good health, in which case I'd have your vet do an examination (not advice over the phone) and recommend a plan.
On a side note, I used Quest Plus on my horse last winter on my vet's advice with no ill side effects. It has a narrower margin of safety than some of the other products, but it's still very safe to use. I was told that even if I used the whole tube accidentally on my horse (who is ~1000 lbs, the whole tube is designed for a 1250 lb horse) it would still be well within the safety margin.
My vet has me alternate de-wormings with fecal floats every 3 months. So in the fall she gets a dose of Equimax and in the spring she gets something like Strongid, Panacur, etc.. Between each of those I send in a fecal sample to be tested and if something does show up I will dose as needed.
I used to just de-worm her every 8 weeks when she got her feet done, but my vet warns against over de-worming because the parasites can start to build up an immunity to the de-wormer.
Thank you for your response. The biggest headache is not knowing what he was given a few weeks ago! Will it hurt him if I just go ahead with the Equimax next week? I don't know his weight...since they aren't responding to me having his vet results faxed or mailed over. Maybe I should just get my vet to come out and just do a fecal sample and get his weight. I feel like I may have gotten screwed, they were so responsive leading up to me taking him home...
Unfortunately, the unresponsiveness is typical of my experience with rescues. They said they dewormed him but won't say with what, therefore in MY mind, I question whether they actually did it at all. What is his body condition? Is he in good flesh or very thin? Does he have long-ish hair all over or is he shed out slick?
To be more accurate, tapeworms can show up in FEC's, they just generally don't. IIRC they don't consistently shed eggs like other types of worms do, so they could be present, even in large numbers, without any evidence in a given manure sample.
You all have been SO helpful... I feel like I can rest a little easier on that front. If he really did just get de wormed I will wait til Sept to do in again. I don't want to over do it!
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