Choosing your battles - Wormer... ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Choosing your battles - Wormer... ?

So, we wormed my friend's little herd yesterday including my mare... **
It was simply impossible. She held her head up, tossed it around. As soon as we'd put the tube thing behind our backs she'd drop her head way low ans stand statue-still as if to say "I'm sooooo sorry - I really really don't want to be bad, but I just CAN'T do it". She's obviously had some nasty experiences w/ the stuff. We finally gave up. squirted it into a small scoop of feed. She gobbled every morsel and 'licked the bowl'. (We were using the apple flavored).

I'm sure I could work with her and eventually get her to tolerate it (filling the injector with applesauce, etc etc like I've read... it would take some doing I can tell). But honestly - is this a skill she really MUST learn, since she will take it w/ no drama mixed w/ food?

This isn't a symptom of disrespect I'm quite sure. This horse is so easy to handle and is a pleasure to be around and to ride. She has no vices (seriously, her worst habit is sometimes trying to grab a bite of grass when she's being led - and we've about got that one worked out). She truly tries to comply with what her people are asking.
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** Last time she had it done (first time since I've owned her) was by a vet at the barn where I wintered her - they were doing them all at the same time. So I wasn't there and don't know how they did it.

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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post #2 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:21 PM
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I always take the path of least resistance when it comes to deworming. Mine ALL get it in their feed and eat it without any histrionics, including my diva mare.


I'm always surprised that so many people are willing to fight with their horses over this non-issue. If the animal refuses it in food then yes, use whatever means are necessary to get it into them, but if they'll happily eat it, then do what's easiest.

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post #3 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:23 PM
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Take an old wormer tube and fill it with applesauce-----"worm" her with the applesauce, which most horses love. Rinse and repeat until there are no problems "dosing" her with the applesauce. The next time you need to worm the mare, dose her with the wormer followed by a dose of the applesauce. Most horses *think* you just gave them funny tasting applesauce since that was the last thing they tasted.
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post #4 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:30 PM
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Eh, if she takes it with the feed, I'd just do it that way. I'd watch her to make sure she gets it all, but why not do what's easiest? My mare wouldn't take it with grain. Anything new with her diet has to be slowly done because she becomes convinced you've poisoned it. But I never have an issue with worming her. We don't make it a big production. Heck, I can stand there measuring out the dose with her head in my arm ready (I put my arm under her head and hold her nose).

I say just keep doing it in her feed. Maybe practice with the applesauce in the event you sell her and the next person doesn't want to do it, but I see no harm in just doing it in the grain.
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post #5 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie View Post
Take an old wormer tube and fill it with applesauce-----"worm" her with the applesauce, which most horses love. Rinse and repeat until there are no problems "dosing" her with the applesauce. The next time you need to worm the mare, dose her with the wormer followed by a dose of the applesauce. Most horses *think* you just gave them funny tasting applesauce since that was the last thing they tasted.
This really does work! You can stretch it out and squirt that applesauce once a week or a couple times a week. Over time they realize how good that applesauce is and de-worming is no longer an issue.


You may, at some point have a horse colic and have to administer quite a bit of mineral oil through a syringe so having a horse that accepts that tube can come in really handy.
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post #6 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 12:54 PM
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You can break the bad association with the wormer tube with a little bit of time and patience, but if she eats it happily in her feed, that's great.

However, doing so would make giving oral medication easier in the future if she needs it (banamine, paste electrolytes, etc). You can get regular syringes from the feed store and mix up apple sauce, cake frosting, or some sort of other treat she likes (Hint: those squeezy pouches of fruit goop meant for little kids makes loading a big syringe super easy), and make it a part of her daily routine. She gets groomed, handled, or ridden, and she gets a squeezy treat.

You may have to start out by squirting a little on your finger and popping it into her mouth where the bit would sit each day. Then progress to touching her with the syringe, then the syringe directly into her mouth. It then becomes a pleasant experience and one where something going into her mouth doesn't phase her.
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post #7 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 01:08 PM
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The applesauce thing really does work. You could try that, but honestly putting it in her feed isn't the worst. I think if she takes it, that's fine. :)
You can try different things but if putting it in the feed works it works!
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post #8 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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You all sound so reasonable :) thanks.
The points about teaching her to accept it for future medicine make a lot of sense, and actually it sounds like something I can do. She's so food motivated, that the way you described it makes it seem pleasurable so I'll work on it. In the meantime, though, it's nice to know that the 'hide it in the food' method isn't inherently 'wrong'. This girl really likes her food... I think I could stick about anything in it and she'd gobble it down.
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I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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post #9 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 02:33 PM
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The only thing I'd be careful of when putting it in her food is, make sure she eats every bite and then pick up her bowl, bucket, whatever you use, and wash it out. A friend dewormed her group and never even thought that her DOG would go around and lick out the bowls. Dog came very close to death (she had used Quest) from overdosing. Evidently her dog had a thing for molasses and would lick the horses bowls out every night when they were done.

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post #10 of 52 Old 09-28-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Wow Dreamcatcher. Hadn't thought of that. She totally 'cleaned her plate' but I'll be careful.

I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -
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