Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pick Your Poison

A reader asked me to elaborate on my worming protocol and I was surprised to find out I have never really addressed it on the blog. Huh, and I thought I rambled on endlessly about every aspect of Brego...

Anyway, when I first got Brego, he had all the classic signs of being wormy and I completely missed it. Long, frazzled coat, no top line, poor condition, big belly, no energy, etc.

I took Brego to my vet for a chiropractic adjustment and she damn near pulled an intervention and gave me the scoop on worming. Like all vets, she can tend to be an alarmist, but unlike most vets, she researches the latest and knows her stuff. She maintained that most horses (in Texas anyway) carried worms that were largely Ivermectin resistant and so to not even bother with the "cheap stuff". She also said that larger horses run a greater risk of carrying a parasite load because people cheap out and buy them one tube, even if their weight calls for more.

So here was Brego, wormed with a single tube of Ivermectin on who knows what schedule his entire life. Classic.

So we got to work. She recommended a Panacur Powerpak to get rid of the blood parasites and heavy worm load. This is her protocol verbatim:

Protocol for Treatment of Blood Parasites

Give one box of Panacur Power Pak dewormers, 1 tube per 1000 lb horse
per day for 5 days

Wait 10 days

Give one tube of Quest Gel or Quest Plus per 1000lb horse

Wait two weeks

Give one tube of Quest Gel or Quest Plus per 1000 lb horse

Wait at least 5 days after the last dewormer to start Sefacon
treatment (for EPM, if necessary).

You can deworm the horse every 2 months with Quest or Quest Plus and
if you choose to rotate wormers, you can give Equimax every third time
instead of Quest. You can also give Anthelcide EQ every third time.

I have modified the protocol slightly. I always rotate between Quest Plus, Equimax, and Anthelcide EQ. I also ALWAYS give the proper dosage which gets very expensive because I basically need to buy an extra tube of everything. I am careful not to overdose with Quest, but I do occasionally double dose Equimax, as I recently reported.

I did talk to my vet about daily wormers and she was not fond of them. She saw parasite loads in horses that were supposedly on daily wormers, some of which may be unreliable barn help. I know we had lots of trouble at previous barns getting the help to deliver supplements daily. So now I give paste wormers and record the data in a calendar so I am sure Brego is being wormed. I also switched from oral joint supplements to Adequan IM for partly this reason.

I also support Brego's system around a worming by adding priobiotic to his feed, making sure not to overwork him, being sensitive to foot soreness or other side effects. I have also given holistic remedies in the past to support the kidneys and livers as they help flush the toxins, but I am out and have not replenished the supply.

After I switched to the more aggressive worming protocol, Brego started to grow a better coat, dapple up, get a topline, get more energy. It was a complete 180 degrees. I am no longer ambivalent about worming, even though I tend towards more holistic care. It's a necessary evil to keep Brego as healthy as possible.


CaitStClair said...

Thanks for the post! I've been wondering about my mare and you just described her with the "Long, frazzled coat, no top line, poor condition, big belly, no energy, etc". And here I've been thinking, I just wormed her so it can't be that! Gonna have to look into this some more. Thanks!

manymisadventures said...

I definitely agree with your deworming protocol. I don't remember ours off the top of my head, but it's pretty similar. We just did an Equimax DD last month on the new mare.

Laura said...

That's interesting to know. I'm moving my horse to a new barn and the owner is a vet, so I'm hoping she is up on all of that. The farm has about 1/2 the number of horses, so the paddocks full of manure and flies will be a thing of the past. That will probably help a bit...

My current barn owner isn't that big on worming - which has always worried me.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the expense of worming a draft...especially now that we have three! I'm currently looking into a different rotation, and was glad for your information. Thanks!

Maybe Mae said...

This is not, you know, related to anything you wrote at all, but I thought I'd mention that last night I tried some New Holland Ichabod pumpkin ale. It was a pretty good beer in general, but it could have used a smidge more pumpkin. Though I seem to feel that way about all pumpkin beers. :) Actually, I have been slacking in the pumpkin beer department and must sample more while there's time!

Daun said...

Shipyard Pumpkin Ale is still the best, in my opinion, although Beer Advocate does not agree.

I had Gritty's Harvest Ale (or whatever) the other day and it was NOT pumpkin and NOT spicy. Not good.

All this foxhunting and trying sherries, ports, and whiskey is taking me too far from my roots. I am a beer girl, through and through.