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Worming Questions!

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  • Worming Questions!

    I'm not new to worming but I am now at a barn that does the Fecal Egg Count with a required worming schedule dependent on the result. All my previous boarding barns have just had a rotational worming, which I generally did a rotation of Ivermectin, Pyrantel Pamoate and Anthelcide or Panacur. Now my horse's result came back as 150epg with the required worming (based off our vet's recommendation I believe) as follows:

    April: Equimax or Zimectrin Gold
    June: Panacur, Safeguard, or Strongid
    October: Quest Plus

    I have purchased Zimectrin Gold for this month but now I am worried about all the mouth issues I keep hearing about and might just go buy Equimax instead. But my main concern is with the Quest Plus. I've been reading about too many scary incidents with Quest and feel really nervous about this (I have never used Quest and my horse has also never had it). My horse has also never had a PowerPac but has been wormed regularly her entire life...I was reading something that said that Quest and a PowerPac do the same things. Is it reasonable to talk to my Barn Manager about doing a PowerPac this fall instead of Quest Plus? Should I just "suck it up" and risk my horse dying over a routine worming (lol...I know most horses do just fine with it)? Is there another safer alternative to Quest Plus? Any advice would be helpful!

  • #2
    I have been doing fecal counts for 5 years now. I have a small closed herd of 6 horses. So far they have been clean for each check. I worm only once a year now after the first good frost. I have been using Quest + each year in order to get any tapes that may be present as they do not show up in fecals. I have never had a problem with Quest + and parasites have not shown any resistance.

    I would rather pay for the fecals, about $17, than inject unnecessary chemicals.


    • #3
      150 is iffy as to "required" deworming, as 200 is generally the cutoff point. However, it IS time to deworm for bots, tapes, and miscellaneous strongyles

      However, ivermectin kills dung beetles, and those guys are pretty active in the Spring. So, Quest Plus in the Spring is a much better idea, and use Equimax in the Fall/Winter after a good freeze.

      I will never, not in a million years, use ZG. It has a known issue of potentially causing oral (and maybe GI) ulcers, and since Equimax does exactly the same thing, without that issue, there's just no reason to use it. Now that you've bought it, you can't return it, so it's up to you

      Quest Plus is fine. As long as the horse is in good weight and is old enough and not health-compromised, and you don't double dose, it's fine Just don't make a mistake and under-dose in an effort to not OD - I use a weight tape, the length/girth calculation, take the larger number, and add 100lb for the lighter horses, 200lb for the heavier ones. My 2yo just got QP for the first time - still alive and trying to eat shoes

      A PP kills all stages of encysted strongyles. However, it also kills them in place, and as they decay, little ulcers form, which can cause colicky issues in some horses starting about Day 14.

      Moxidectin kills all but EL3, but that's not terribly significant. It paralyzes the worms so they lose their grip and are eliminated, thereby not causing ulcers.

      Beyond that, moxidectin kills a whole lot more than just encysted strongyles, including adult strongyles, bots, pinworms, etc - broad spectrum.

      So, really, the typical deworming is QP in the Spring (after a FEC just to see how the horse was), Equimax in the Fall/Winter. Do a late Summer/early Fall FEC to see how the horse came out of the Summer, and deworm with plain ivermectin at that point if necessary, then use Equimax after a good freeze.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        Is there any reason to worm 3 months in a row (Feb, Mar, and April) with different wormers on a horse with a recent fecal low egg count? My BO did this without telling me and is charging me 15 - 20 dollars extra per treatment. I am leaving at the end of this month for many reasons! None of the other horses got the April worming.


        • #5
          I have a horse that a horrible reactions to ZG (red swollen mouth) who has no issues with Quest Plus.

          My vet has us doing the Quest Plus in the spring and the Equimax in the fall.


          • #6
            Hope all you guys are deworming (and not worming)
            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


            • #7
              I've never had a problem with Quest plus either. I think you just don't want to use it in horses that are extremely wormy because the high die-off causes problems. I also question why the every-other-month schedule. Why not deworm, then test to see if the horse needs more treatment?


              • #8
                OP, what you deworm with will depend greatly on where you live. Long and cold winters do have that one advantage.

                Quest Plus has issues because it is stored and released from fat (ok, likely an over simplification) and is released in stages. This is good as not all the little wormies are killed at once, and various stages of the worms are killed. A skinny horse doesn't have enough fat so the horse over doses. Minis often have issues with it too, as people over-estimate the ponies' weight. I use Quest plus after the first hard frost in the fall (usually November), and have not had issues with my horses, or my client's horses.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                • #9
                  I also do QP in the spring and Equimax in the fall. Works very well.

                  My mare didn't have Quest/QP until she was 18, and she's done fine with it. Just make sure the horse isn't underweight and that you're correctly dosing. Good luck! Oh, and you're correct; no Zimectrin Gold!
                  *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                  • #10
                    Location has much less bearing on *what* you use, than it does on the *when* you use it.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET