Thursday, May 22, 2014

Worms. Again.

Ugh. Hemie's latest fecal test has tested positive for worms again.

Quick recap: he's had worms multiple times over the 2 years I've had him, including strongyles and roundworms.  Each time they've gone away with a deworming treatment. It is unusual (and therefore extremely concerning) for adult horses to get roundworms. I fecal test him every 3 months using Horsemen's Laboratory mail service.

Previous worm posts:
December 2013
December 2012

After consulting with our parasitology vet, Hemie got wormed with 1 tube of double-dose fenbendazole (Safe-Guard Power Dose). I'll check his fecals again in 3 weeks.

This positive test was the kicker for me to start supplementing Hemie with diatomaceous earth. Our parasitology vet is not a believer in D.E., but he said there wasn't any harm in trying.

Diatomaceous earth is a flour-like powder consisting mostly of silica, used in a million different products. A 50-lb bag of food grade D.E. costs $30, and horses get 1 cup daily, so its pretty inexpensive and will last a while.

Unfortunately, the evidence on D.E.'s ability to help with internal parasites in horses is largely anecdotal. In fact I couldn't find a single scientific study on D.E. as an equine dewormer, but I did find some studies on pigs and cows, with varied results. Unfortunately (and fortunately) I don't know anyone who has had *repeat* worm problems, so I'm relying on lots of online research. Which is always kinda questionable. (Some people still believe the world is flat...)

But I figure its worth a shot. D.E. doesn't have any negative side effects and some people swear by it. It was first suggested to me by my regular vet as something for me to research and consider, though he didn't really seem to be a believer either ("I know some people who use this...you could look into it..."). But you never know until you try, so we're trying it out!



8 comments:

  1. Hope gets back to normal soon! Good luck with the D.E.!

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  2. Oh I totally get this. Roz has had a few positive fecals. From what I understand a lot of it can be dependent upon management/how much land you have etc. We don't have a lot of extra space so he ends up grazing in the same parasite filled areas and gets re-infected. It's a frustrating issue!

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  3. Blah! Hope you can get it under control quickly.. you seem to be getting quite good at it haha! He is lucky his mom is so on top of it :)

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  4. Have you ever treated for a worm aneurysm? There was a equine naturopathic doctor who had me treat my 20+ year old gelding for one. I was so skeptical as you have to do a lot of worming over a month and I was worried that at his age. He never really thrived and was always a hard keeper. After I treated him for the worm aneurysm (I can send you the protocol if you like) he kept weight on and was incredibly shiny. I am a bit uneasy about alternative therapies but the results were amazing.

    I bet the DE will help a tonne though! Good luck :)

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  5. I've tried D.E. and have seen amazing results in cats and dogs. I've never tried it on a horse though I know people do - crossing my fingers it works though for you!

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