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The Importance of Deworming Foals...Correctly!

I'm guessing that most people raising foals are not deworming as often as I am,
and a few people are deworming more often than me.
The issue here isn't frequency...it's effectiveness!

Even though I am embarrassed about this, I want to share it with everyone because I think it's in the best interest of all horse owners to know what a difference a proper deworming program does for our horses.

We dewormed a 2008 colt with the following schedule during the 9 months we had him before he left for his new home. Note that one of those times was 4-day-in-a-row fenbendazole double dose.

  • Birth 6/10/08 Ivermectin liquid, 1-2 cc's (attempted 2, but doubt it was all swallowed)

  • 2 months 8/19/08 Ivermectin Liquid

  • 3 months 9/4/2008 Panacur fenbendazole 4 consecutive days, double dose

  • 5 months 11/4/08 Ivermectin Liquid

  • 7 months 1/6/09 Panacur fenbendazole single day, double dose

  • 8 months 2/12/09 Ivermectin Liquid

  • 9 months 3/16/09 Panacur fenbendazole single day, double dose

  • 9 months 3/17/09 Ivermectin Liquid

I never saw worms (and did look) until giving the Panacur/Ivermectin consecutive days on the 16th and 17th of March, 2009. The worms (ascarids) POURED out of that colt for two days! (at least 6 worms in each stool)

Since the other 3 colts in the pasture with him didn't look as bad as he did, I examined their deworming records. They were weaned at a different time than him, so there was one difference:

Pyrantel pamoate. This third deworming medication was given to them one time.

The other foals got the same dewormers above, except in November, they also received pyrantel pamoate (strongid, Exodus, etc.). But I ran out of it before finishing all of our horses, so the above colt got Ivermectin instead.

One would think that even rotating with 2 dewormers would be sufficient, but this colt is evidence that it is not.

Like I said, it's embarrassing to admit that we had this problem. I'm a deworming fanatic, but dropped the ball by not noticing that this colt didn't get the third type of medication (pyrantel) in the rotation. We live in Iowa, a location that evidently supports the life cycle of roundworms quite nicely...which doesn't help.

In any case, I hope that you'll peek at your deworming schedule to make sure you're rotating your dewormers to include THREE different families of medicine.

If you are not doing that, you might just be surprised to know what's going on inside your horse! :-)

Toni, who is red-faced and slapping her forehead....

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This page last updated 03/26/10
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Toni Perdew       Bedford, Iowa
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