View Full Version : I swear I searched before asking: foal worming protocol

Jan. 18, 2008, 12:02 AM
I know this has been "asked and answered". But I didn't save/copy the thread or take notes. I promise I will this time!

What is your protocol for worming foals? At what age do you start? When do they go on to the adult horse rotation?

For background info:
- Mare was wormed with ivermectin on day foal was born
- Adult horses at our farm are wormed with Anthelcide (Jan/July), Ivermectin (Mar/Sept*) and Strongid (May/Nov)
*Sept=ivermectin plus the tapeworm stuff, the name of which is escaping me at the moment
- Foal has been wormed periodically (he is 8 months old now) but I didn't have a good plan and I want to have one in place for the 2008 foal

Jan. 18, 2008, 12:15 AM
Aren't you supposed to have done a double Strongid (or is it a double Panacur?) with babies to kill... is it roundworms?

Jan. 18, 2008, 02:05 AM
I have always wormed the mare with Ivermectin the day of foaling and then the foal
goes on to a monthly worming schedule starting with Strongid for the 30 and 60 day doses then to an alternating Ivermectin and Strongid for the first year.

Jan. 18, 2008, 09:41 AM
Ditto what genevieveg17 does, except I rotate with Anthelcide and ivermectrin.

Hillside H Ranch
Jan. 18, 2008, 09:43 AM
I deworm the mare with Ivermectin at foaling and then use Strongid on the foal starting at 30 days of age. I continue with the Strongid every month through 6 months of age and then use Ivermectin at 6 months. Then I do fecal egg counts and deworm with Ivermectin based upon those, which usually means I'm deworming every other month.

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:03 AM
What Genevieve said. I start with Strongid at 30 days & then rotate monthly after that (Ivermectin/Strongid).

Home Again Farm
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:33 AM
Worm mare with Ivermectin within 12 hours of birth. Start worming foal at 30 days, starting with Strongid and rotating between that, Anthelcide and Ivermectin. When they are a year old, they go onto the adult's schedule.

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:35 AM
I do the same as Glenhill, et al--monthly worming with Strongid/Ivermectin starting Ivermectin at 3 months.

BTW, have any of you ever Panacured your weanlings like a Powerpak? I mean obviously you would just double the appropriate dose for the foal's size instead of using the adult powerpak. My vet suggested doing it for my orphan weanling, who despite monthly wormings has still got a pot belly, but I am concerned that it may be too much for such a little guy. Anyone done it and were there any problems? Anyone ever double dosed the Panacur but not done the whole five day treatment? (Hope this isn't too much of a hijack but I was going to ask this anyway...)

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:40 AM
Looking back thru my records, I have double dosed w/Panacur a weanling, for the reasons you mentioned. No problems, pot belly went away :)

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks Eq Trainer. Did you double dose for the full five days or just a single double dose?

Home Again Farm
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:44 AM
I double dosed with Panacur a big, fussy eating, hard keeping yearling filly last fall. That, along with a treatment with Gastrogard and maintenance with tractgard have made her a completely different animal. :yes:

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:45 AM
My vet just suggested (yesterday) that we do the power pac on an 8 month old weanling I got in as a 4 month old. Dose will be based on her weight of about 300 lbs. For the 5 days. She has the pot belly look. None of mine do.
We do the once a month ivermectin worming of the babies until they are one yr old.

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:46 AM
Sorry to repeat but I just want to clarify, Home Again...did you do a five day double dose like a PowerPak or just a single double dose. My colt has no eating or digestive problems, just the persistent pot belly. I will Ulcergard and probiotic if I do the double dose though.

Thanks Sugarbrook. Let me know how your baby does with it. I still have to order it. I've never had problems with a pot belly foal before, but this guy had a lot of problems because he was orphaned and also had problems with a patent urachus that had him hospitalized a week or so after he was born. I don't know if all that stress has made him more susceptible to worms or not.

Home Again Farm
Jan. 18, 2008, 10:48 AM
We do the once a month ivermectin worming of the babies until they are one yr old.

As I understand it, Ivermectin is not so reliable against roundworms which are a real problem in a foal's first year. I would definitely rotate the Ivermectin with Strongid and Anthelcide. Hope that helps! :yes:

Clarion, I did five days. I have never had such a fussy eater or hard keeper of that age before and my vet advised me to power pack after the ulcer treatment. It really made a dramatic difference in her eating and in her utilizing what she was fed. She now is back down to what I feed my "normal" babies.

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:50 AM
Looking back thru my records, I have double dosed w/Panacur a weanling, for the reasons you mentioned. No problems, pot belly went away :)

Thanks! That answered one of my burning questions!:yes:

Clarion- wanna start a weaning orphan clique??? Mine is now 6 months old...and I had just PT'ed EqTrainer to ask(beg) for her worming ideas! ;)

Jan. 18, 2008, 10:54 AM
annikak--Sure! Does yours have the pot belly too?

PS--I just started an orphan thread...

Jan. 18, 2008, 11:16 AM
Worm mare with Ivermectin within 12 hours of birth. Start worming foal at 30 days, starting with Strongid and rotating between that, Anthelcide and Ivermectin. When they are a year old, they go onto the adult's schedule.

What Mary Lou said :D

Jan. 18, 2008, 12:41 PM
We do pretty much the same as what Genevieve said -- with the exception of the 30 day worming, we do Panacur for that one. Then at 60 days Strongid, then rotating between Strongid and ivermectin every 30 days for the first two years.

My vet also just called me the other day and said she wanted me to change the worming of the mare on foaling day from ivermectin to Zimecrtrin Gold. So we will make that change this year.

Jan. 18, 2008, 12:48 PM
Well I haven't been too far off -- thanks for all the replies. I didn't start at 30 days, I started at 60. And I didn't rotate every month, because I was only using half a tube to start with (or less) so I finished up the tube in 4 weeks, then started on the next type. Strongid first, then Panacur.

Wormed with ivermectin at 6 months and was going to go to the adult schedule now (8 months) which would be anthelcide. But he's got the pot belly look, so I'll ask my vet about something remedial like a PowerPak or double dose.

Jan. 19, 2008, 04:11 AM
Oh lord the great worming debate, :lol: I worked very closely with my vet to establish a rigerous worming program five years ago after discovering that a yearling filly had a severe encysted worm burden. Her grazing was basically shared with other tennants in a boarding situation and regulary used strongid double dose for tape twice annually and panacur paste as a regular wormer, as did most of the residents not realising that neither treated for encysted worm. :-( After thoruough investigation and a shot of quest the problem was quickly cleared up and have since had no further problems, especially now that the horses are all wormed effectively with no boarders.

So this is the how I understand things. Bascially there are three chemical groups that can be used to treat for small red worm, roundworm, threadworm and the majority of other species of worms incluiding different larval stages that foals need to be protected against. I have noticed oxibendazole e.g Anethelicid as an option in the US where resistance to panacur is known and assuming it falls into the Tetrahydropirimidines (Benzimidazole) family? (There is actually a fourth group but prefer to leave it aside as this treats for tape + all other species in a single dose excluding encysted worms, so not recomended for pre-foaling treatment)
Tetrahydropirimidines (Pyrantel Embonate) e.g strongid

Macrocyclic Lactones (Ivermectin + Moidectin) e.g Generic Ivermectin

Tetrahydropirimidines (Benzimidazole & Fenbendazole) Panacur Paste

However it is very important to recognise that the only two chemicals as far as I know that can claim license to treat for encysted worms are Fenbendazole (five day treatment) and Moxidectin.

The general consensus therefore is to worm the mare four weeks prior to foaling with quest (moxidectin) or a five day treatment of panacur gaurd (Benzimidazole & fenbendazole) and repeat the treatment in the autumn[/B]. :yes:

Change the chemical group wormer Moxidectin to Fenbendazole in year two only or vice versa. Research has shown that there is yet no resistance to moxidectin in the 10 year study but rotation is still recomended to discourage it from happening.

This prefoaling treatment of the mare will remove all stages of small and large redworm, roundworm and thread worm including all stages of larvae, AND encysted worms as well as all other species except tape. Mares should then be wormed one week after with a tape wormer. e.g equitape

Worming the mare early enough will avoid the suckling foal ingesting any migrating dead worms passing from the mare and prevent the foal from any worm contamination via her milk, as she herself will be relatively worm free.

The four week rule prior to foaling is advised as this covers the eventuality that the mare foals early. Another reason for doing so is that a heavy burden of encysted worms may cause adversory effects on the mare, and we don't want her feeling grumpy and uncomfortable at the time she is due to foal or has foaled. :no:

It is important to note that scouring foals during foal heat is an indication that there is a high worm presence of Strongyloides westeri (Intestinal threadworm) in the mare passing through her milk. Had always been told that it was caused by a change in hormones in the mare but beware, threadworm is a more likely cause! :yes:

Foals usually develop an immunity to threadworm as they mature hence the reason the scouring can pass without intervention, but prevention is better than cure, as a newborn foal can quickly become dehydrated and lead to death, so treating the mare prefoaling will erradicate any burden of thread worm. Having followed this program now for three years we no longer see the scouring of foals during foal heat.

Encysted worms, can become active at any given time, so assuming that the mare has only been covered by a basic ivermectin wormerprefoaling with no previous annual treatment of encysted worms, does not assure that she does not carry a burden. :no:

Failing to cover the mare with a wormer that caters for encysted worm can lead to complications of a worm burden in the foal if the mare heavily contaminates the field in which the foal grazes. She may appear in good health and condition and not affected but the foal does not have this same resistance and will be exposed to the worms that she sheds. If your mare suddenly sheds weight and many will claim "oh she gives everything to her foal" it is important to bear in mind that it is perhaps more likely that she has an encysted worm burden that has not been appropraitely dealt with. The same reasoning is often given by mare owners whos mares shed weight rapidly in the autumn and the growing foal is often held responsible for the mares loss of condition despite all the "feeding" she receives to compensate for the foals demands!

Fortunately foals will not neccesarily be affected by encysted worms until much later in in the season, normally his first autumn and foals are unlikely to be affected by tape under two months of age. However be carefull, if the classic, pot bellied weanling does not pick up after regular basic ivermectin treatment as this can suggest an encysted worm burden and should preferably be treated in the autumn at the same time as the mare with a five day treatment of panacur gaurd or equest and then treated one week later with a chemical group wormer that treats for tape.

A feacal count will not detect the presence of tape worm or encysted worm, the only reliable detection method is a blood test. So if in doubt have the foal blood tested and a feacal test carried out.
The mare should then be wormed a second time at six weeks after her prefoaling treatment. The foal can then be wormed one week after the mare and continue throughout the spring summer season. (this is merely to avoid overdosing of the chemical as some will pass through the mares milk if wormed at the same time) Choose one single chemical group wormer and stick with it, different brands of wormer from the same chemical group is fine

wormer groups:

1) Macrocyclic Lactones e.g. Ivermectin
2) Benzimidazole e.g Panacur
3) Tetrahydropirimidines e.g Strongid

Strongid (Pyrantel Embonate Tetrahydropirimidines) and Ivermectin (Macrocyclic Lactone) are two different chemical groups

Fluctuating between different chemical groups eg ivermectin then strongid (Pyrantel Embonate) in any one year every four/six weeks is not recomended. :no:

Mares and foals should then be wormed every six weeks with the near as possible correct doseage throughout the spring summer months.

It is vitaly important that the correct worming doseage is established by measuring your foal with a weight measuring tape. Underworming the foal can lead to a burden and over worming with unescesary chemicals can lead to resistance.

If a foal appears not to be thriving, a feacal count should be done at the end of the six week period. A feacal count done too early will produce a false negative result. If the feacal count reveals a heavy presence, then shortening of the worming period is advisable, If the count is minimal continue with the six week program of mare and foal.

As previously mentioned treat your foal for encysted worm in the autumn of his first year followed by a tape wormer one week later. Autumn/Winter worming should then continue as before every six weeks in the foals first year of life with the same chemical group wormer used throughout the spring summer. Start treating him with the second chemical group wormer in the spring of the following year with the wormer that treats for encysted worms and once again a week later for tape Consquently six weeks after his encysted treatment be sure to select a different chemical wormer for the control of small red worm roundworm etc for the six week worm control throughout the year. Repat in year three with the third chemical group for the treatment of regular worm species.

Worming really is easy and straight forwards but not fully understanding the basic chemical groups when to treat, with what, and what to treat for, can quickly lead to an incorrect worming program and chronic infestation and sadly foals and youngstock are more vunerable. :(

Other factors can help reduce worm infestations, regulary harrowing pasture in very hot dry weather will kill off eggs in manure. Poop picking and cross grazing with sheep and cattle will also help to keep pastures clean and to conclude never assume that it's because you have regularly wormed a foal you have erradicated all possibilites of their being a problem, if an animal is not thriving then get peace of mind and blood test in conjunction with a feacal count at the end of a worming period. :) Yearlings are frequently excused from looking their best because they all go through ugly phases when in reality they may be thing and scawny because there is an underlying encysted worm problem that has never been dealt with because owners are not aware that there are only two drugs that can treat the problem! :(

happy worming :)

Windswept Stable
Jan. 19, 2008, 10:12 PM
We do pretty much the same as what Genevieve said -- with the exception of the 30 day worming, we do Panacur for that one. Then at 60 days Strongid, then rotating between Strongid and ivermectin every 30 days for the first two years.

My vet also just called me the other day and said she wanted me to change the worming of the mare on foaling day from ivermectin to Zimecrtrin Gold. So we will make that change this year.

Be careful Gretchen. I wormed 5 here with Z-Gold in early November and within 48 hours --2 of the 5 got bellyaches and laid down and went to the hospital. I can not prove the Z-Gold caused it--but, in 15 years, I have not had a pony with a bellyache... and it seems too coincidental that 2 of the 5 laid down within 48 hours of Gold.

Jan. 19, 2008, 10:35 PM
I do not use Zimectrin Gold. Too many bad things happen with it that are NOT related to what I consider an acceptable response to a dewormer - which is mainly toxicity due to a large wormload being killed off. Burned lips does NOT fit that description :no:

I would ask my vet to do a little homework on that dewormer and then recommend another of that type.

Jan. 19, 2008, 10:43 PM
Windswept and EqRider -- thank you for mentioning that. I will talk with my vet about it. She has a Morgan breeding farm, and it is run in a nearly identical way to ours, as far as worming practices, pasture management and such, so I know this is what she is doing with her own mares. But I will definitely talk to her about it!!

Jan. 21, 2008, 06:09 PM
reading all of the responses the majority of posters which refer to strongid and ivermectin based products but when is everyone treating their foals/weanlings/yearlings for encysted worms? no one seems to mention it. Double dosing with strongid doesn't deal with encysted worms and neither does ivermectin nor panacur paste and those are the little blighters that usually cause the problems. :confused: