As science advances, internal parasitic control has become easier and easier. There are numerous products on the market designed to combat all the intestinal parasites that threaten horses. In fact, horse owners are even able to feed continuous deworming supplements. But as this array of options floods the market, consumers can become more and more confused. The threat of internal parasites is constant, but easily and safely dealt with if done properly. In this article, you will learn to establish a safe, sound deworming regimen that will keep your horse healthy and you worry free.
Different deworming products protect against different parasitic threats. For the most part, there are three classes of dewormers that combat different combinations of worms; these are: macrocyclic lactones, which include ivermectin and moxidectin; tetrahydroprimidines, or pyrantel; and finally benzimidazoles, which include febendazole, mebendazole and oxibendazole. Praziquantel is the fourth chemical group that has a less significant role to play in worm prevention and
is used primarily in combination formulas.
Keep in mind the chemicals listed above are not brand names, instead they are the active chemicals in worm prevention. To keep horses safe from all these threats, a healthy rotation of all these chemical classes is necessary. The brand makes no difference, the key component to look for when purchasing these products is what chemical group it falls into. Finally, there are combination dewormers and continuous dewormers that have some combination of the above listed chemicals.
This dizzying array of unpronounceable words can turn some people off of developing an effective deworming program. Consider the chart to the left as a jumping off place for your deworming program; however, you should always consult your veterinarian before making significant changes because of climactic differences and unusual circumstances unique to your horse.General deworming tips
• Never feed a horse direct from the stable floor where the environment may be contaminated.
• Always read the packaging and follow the instructions.
• Moxidectin-based dewormers should not be used on foals less than 4 months of age.
• Moxidectin-based dewormers should not be used on severely debilitated horses.
• Pyrantel embonate-based dewormers should not be used on debilitated horses.
• When deworming, give your horse a treat so that he remembers deworming in a positive light.
• Never underdose as this could lead to resistance.
• Do not over-stock pasture, which can force animals to graze where the worm count is high.
• Given enough room to graze, horses will develop their own grazing and toilet areas know as lawns and troughs.
• Rest your pastures if possible for six months or so as frost and sun can help kill infected areas.
• Keep your barn and feeding environment clean and hygienic by using a good disinfectant.
• Deworm all horses that are on the same yard on the same day with the same active ingredient.
• Deworm all newcomers to your yard and stable them for 24 hours before allowing them on the pastures.
• If horses are moved to clean pastures, deworm them 48 hours before the move to prevent the spread of infection.
• Try to graze young horses away from older horses as the younger horses carry the biggest deworm burden and as such are responsible for the majority of pasture contamination.
• Try to pick droppings up as often as possible, twice weekly is ideal but weekly will help.
• Keep accurate records of your deworming procedures.
• If you suspect a resistance to benzimidazole-based dewormers consult your vet and arrange a fecal egg count.
• Know the weight of your horse to ensure it gets the correct dose.
The marks on the chart are recommended administrations of each chemical group. Use this to chart your own
deworming regimen. If tapeworms are a concern, substitute the ivermectin/moxidectin dose with a combo
dewormer that includes ivermectin/moxidectin. Other specifications are necessary for the daily dewormers.
Brand Name Active Ingredient Manufacturer Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Brand Name Active Ingredient Manufacturer Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Macrocyclic Lactones X
Zimecterin Ivermectin Merial
Rotation 1 Ivermectin Farnam
Equell Ivermectin Pfizer
Ivercare Ivermectin Farnam
Quest Gel Moxidectin Fort Dodge X
Tetrahydroprimidines X X
Strongid Paste Pyrantil Pamoate Pfizer
Liquicare Pyrantil Pamoate Farnam
Rotation 2 Pyrantil Pamoate Farnam
Exodus Paste Pyrantil Pamoate Bimedia Animal Health
Benzimidazoles X X
Anthelcide Oxibendazole Pfizer
Safe Guard Fenbendazole Intervet
Panacure Oxibendazole Intervet
Equimax Ivermectin and Praziquantel Pfizer
Zemectin Ivermectin and Praziquantel Merial
Combo Care Moxidectin and Praziquantel Farnam
Continuex Pyrantel Tartrate Farnam
Strongid C or 2X Pyrantel Tartrate Pfizer
EquiAid CW Pyrantel Tartrate Equi Aid Products
Safeguard Pyrantel Tartrate Intervet
Nu Image Guardian Pyrantel Tartrate Select the Best
The active ingredient in the daily dewormers does not kill all parasites and a combo dewormer is recommended in the fall as well as a twice-yearly dose of the
benzimidazoles and tetrahydroprimidines.
Macrocyclic Lactones: Ivermecticin kills large strongyles, small bloodworms, ascarids, bots, threadworms, pinworms, hair worms and large mouth stomach worms.
Moxidectin kills large and small strongyles, encysted cyathostones, ascarids, pinworms, hair worms, large mouth stomach worms and bots. Horses should be
4 months or older and in good condition to take moxidectin.
Tetrahydroprimidines kill ascarids, large and small strongyles, pinworms and roundworms.
Benzimidazoles kill ascarids, large and small strongyles and pinworms.
Praziquantel kills tapeworms.
Diagnostic and Treatment Options for Sore Hocks
As demands on the equine athlete are constantly increased, so are the tolls taken on that athlete's body. In team roping, one of the most common tolls is lameness in the hock. The quick bursts of speed, sudden stops and heavy weight being borne by the hind legs in an average team roping run can result in wear and tear on the hock. Equivalent to the human ankle, the hock is one of the most likely joints in a horse to suffer injury, and sore hocks can develop at any stage of a horse's life.
Diagnosis is the first and foremost challenge when a hock injury begins to surface. An accomplished horseman will recognize lameness, either on the ground or horseback. Other clues may be unwillingness to perform certain maneuvers that were once routine.
The first solution is rest. Maybe you've simply been pushing your horse too hard. Of course, it is vital that a veterinarian be involved in the diagnostic process. If the horse is obviously lame, and becomes more so during flexion, your vet may be able to diagnose the problem in a physical examination. More challenging diagnoses will reveal themselves in radiographs.
Once a problem is positively diagnosed, treatment becomes the next challenge. Rest is obviously the first option. You may consider a change in shoeing, but remember, shoes cannot fix an existing problem, but can help a horse work with less discomfort through an ailment.
So the next logical step is nutritional supplements specifically designed to strengthen joints and combat joint discomfort. Injections are also a safe option, but the less invasive solutions should be attempted first.
What to look for in a Joint Supplement
There are a few chief ingredients that most joint therapy supplements contain. These include glucosamine, chondroiton, MSM and hyaluronic acid. However, there are other sources including devil's claw, Yucca and aspirin. Below is a quick look at some of the properties of the chief ingredients in joint supplements.
Glucosamine has been found to be a slow-acting drug in degenerative joint disease, meaning it requires a prolonged period of administration before the positive effects are noted or detectable. It has also been shown to have a protective effect upon articular cartilage.
Oral glucosamine has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of chronic arthritis. There is also research that shows that use of oral glugosamine significantly decreased the effective dose of anti-inflammatory agents needed to control chronic pain.
Chondroitin sulfate [CS] is the predominant glycosaminoglycan found in adult articular cartilage. CS has been classified as a slow-acting, disease-modifying agent that has been shown to inhibit the enzymes associated with inflammation and tissue destruction.
MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring nutrient, a sulfur compound. Sulfur is an element present in all living organisms. It belongs in the same chemical family as oxygen.
Sulfur has a long history as a healing agent. While sulfur's natural anti-inflammatory properties have shown benefits for a range of health problems, including arthritis, muscle and joint pain, much is still unknown about precisely how it works in the body.
Although MSM is commonly characterized as a breakthrough remedy for osteoarthritis, its benefits extend beyond the treatment of chronic illnesses. In fact, in recent years human and equine athletes have begun to rely on MSM to reduce the pain, soreness and inflammation associated with injuries, strained or cramped muscles and over-extended joints. Many use MSM in ointment form to alleviate the pain of sprained ankles, elbows and shoulders, strained muscles and ligaments and tendon injuries.
Hylauronic acid is a naturally occurring substance present is connective tissue, skin, vitreous humour and the umbilical cord in all mammals. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid are also found in the synovial fluid. It also constitutes the major component of the capsule of certain microorganisms. The hyaluronic acid produced by bacteria is of the same structure and configuration as that found in mammals. Hyaluronic acid can be administered by injection and, in newer products, orally.
If you've read this far, then you're probably concerned that your horse may need more joint therapy than rest or nutritional supplementation can provide. You are at a crossroads debating the use of injection therapy.
The primary danger in injection therapy is compounding injury. If medication is injected into the joint, its primary effect is to reduce inflammation in the joint and therefore reduce pain. If the same level of work is continually asked of this horse and more medication is being needed in order to keep a horse going, more injuries may develop, leading to concern about the long-term health of the joint.
Therefore, it is essential that you work with your veterinarian to determine what is best for you and your horse. On the positive side, the lower hock joint is a low motion joint; therefore reducing the risk of permanent lameness such as one might see in a coffin joint or the fetlock.
So although there are reasons to be concerned about the risks and potential negative effects of joint injection in any situation, in the case of the lower hock joints, the risk may not be as great, particularly if the objective of treatment is to reduce the discomfort that horse is experiencing and allow it to continue to perform.
There are many other supplements on the market in addition to these listed. Consult your veterinarian before beginning a joint supplement regimen.
From Kinetic Tech www.kinetitech.net/equine.html
Conquer, a patent-pending apple-flavored Sodium Hyaluronate [HA] gel is available is 30 ml or 60 ml syringes. This revolutionary concept of orally administered HA helps keep your horse's joints healthy and flexible. The serving of 10 ml [100 mg] is recommended to give once a day for 1100 lbs. of body weight. A fourteen-day loading period is recommended, which can be followed by a maintenance serving of 5 ml [50 mg] daily or [100 mg] every other day. Veterinary researched and tested. HA is all natural, non-toxic, and safe.
Joint Combo Classic
From Farnam www.farnamhorse.com
Horse Health Joint Combo contains glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate, along with the cofactors manganese and ascorbic acid, in a palatable, molasses-flavored pellet formula without any non-nutritional fillers. Glucosamine and chondroitin are found naturally in the bodies of animals and are necessary for normal joint function. Glucosamine is a natural precursor of glycosaminoglycans [GAGS] and hyaluronic acid. Chondroitin is the primary GAG found in cartilage. Manganese is an important confactor for the formation of GAGS, and ascorbic acid is required for collagen formation. Together, they act synergistically to support normal joint function.
Absorbine Flex +
Absorbine Flex + maintains healthy joints and connective tissues and helps to support joint and cartilage function. Flex + is formulated with Natural Glo, an absorption catalyst featuring nutrient rich, stabilized rice bran to aid in the delivery and performance of two glucosamines, MSM, and yucca.
Flex + has been clinically proven in controlled equine studies to reduce the natural effects of aging, overwork or training. All the ingredients in Flex + are active in ensuring optimal bioavailability and palatability to the horse. All the ingredients are good for the whole horse, not just the joints. This is very important around the ages of seven to nine years. This is very important in a joint supplement. Horses reach maturity around the ages of seven to nine years. This is when many of them are reaching higher performance levels after many years of intense training. Flex + gives the body the building blocks to support healthy joints and connective tissue with Glucosamine Sulfate and N-Acetyl Glucosamine. This is important during rigorous training and show schedules. Natural Glo stabilized rice bran gives the body many nutrients. Flex + supports the complete musculoskeletal system. Not only are you helping the joints, but the overall health of the horse.
From Nutramax Laboratories
Regardless of age, breed or discipline, the stress of training and competition causes wear and tear to articular cartilage, eventually compromising optimal joint function and dramatically affecting the performance of the equine athlete.
Cosequin plays an important role in maintaining optimal joint function. The superior quality ingredients in our patented formula provide the raw materials that are essential for the synthesis of synovial fluid and the major components of articular cartilage matrix. The synergistic effect of each ingredient performing its primary function concurrently is what makes Cosequin unique and the only true broad-spectrum cartilage matrix enhancer.
Unlike steroids and some NSAIDs, which can damage the cartilage matrix, Cosequin is not a drug; it is a true nutraceutical with unparalleled safety. Nothing comes close to matching the confidence and reliability of the clean, patented formulation that has helped make Cosequin an industry leader.
The synergistic effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate performing their primary functions concurrently, using manganese and ascorbate as cofactors, is what makes Cosequin unique and the only product of its kind. This overall matrix enhancement will make Cosequin more economical to use the longer an animal is on the product.
The ingredients in Cosequin are of unparalleled purity. A Multiple-step purification process ensures maximum ingredient integrity.
Minerals activate the enzymes in the body of all mammals. Enzymes are responsible for the chemical exchanges in each cell that trigger muscles and organs to function. Among other things, they impact muscle response, mental functioning, the nervous system, digestion, skeletal strength and joint flexibility.
The lack of certain minerals reduces the efficiency of a horse's physiological systems. A serious mineral deficiency causes conditions such as arthritis and other joint ailments, osteoporosis [leading to bone fractures], rickets, nervous irritability, listlessness, and irregular heartbeat.
Prime 90 was formulated using the minerals found in the natural diets of wild horses and guaranteed that they are delivered to exactly where they are needed by out patent-pending glucosaplex chelating matrix delivery system. Glucosaplex acts like Nature's own chemistry while delivering nutrients that are no longer available in crops grown from our depleted soil.
Glucosamine has been added to the Prime 90 mineral formula because of its restorative properties with respect to equine joints and bones. Give your horse a longer, healthier life.
From the John Ewing Company
MSM is a natural food found in most plants and in the milk of mammals. MSM is one of nature's sources of dietary sulfur, a mineral needed for the synthesis of vitamins [biotin & thiamin], amino acids [methionine & cystine], and chondroitin sulfate. Formula 707 MSM from the John Ewing Company is manufactured under strict license and patent specifications. Quality and purity are maintained to provide you with the finest available MSM.
Formula 707 MSM promotes healthy joints and ligaments by providing nutritional support for normal cartilage formation. Distilled MSM is safe and well absorbed in horses and small animals.
Injection Therapy Products
Hylartin V [sodium hyaluronate] Injection helps heal horse's joints. It lubricates joint tissues, reduces friction, alleviates pain and improves joint action.Hylartin V is indicated in horses for the intra-articular treatment of non-infectious inflammatory joint disease. The product is injected directly into the inflamed joint and replenishes natural hyaluronate and stimulates the production of natural hyaluronate for long-term recovery.
Most sodium hyaluronate equine-joint treatments have comparatively low molecular weight, well below the optimum range for effective treatment. Hylartin V, however, has a molecular weight that is up to six times heavier than low-weight competitors. Hylartin V has the molecular weight to provide joint protection and promote healing.
The product is available in a disposable glass syringe containing 20 mg [10 mg/ml] of sodium hyaluronate in 2.0 ml physiological sodium chloride-phosphate buffer.
Your veterinarian will inject 2 ml [20 mg] of Hylartin V intra-articular in small-and medium-size joints [carpal , fetlock] or 4 ml [40 mg] for larger joints [hock]. These treatments may be repeated at weekly intervals for a total of three treatments.
As with all intra-articular injections, occasional mild side effects may include heat, transient edema and pain around the injection site.
Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
Legend [hyaluronate sodium] is pure hyaluronic acid, similar to the HA present in normal joint fluid. And, since its introduction nearly 10 years ago, Legend is still the only FDA-approved intravenous equine joint therapy.
Legend offers a choice of administration, either intravenous [I.V.] for convenience and ease of use or intra-articular for individual joint therapy.
Legend is pure, safe and reliable. A patented biological fermentation process produces highly purified HA-the only hyaluronic and approved by the FDA for I.V.administration.
Available exclusively from veterinarians, Legend [hyaluronate sodium] Injectable Solution is pyrogen free, sterile and does not contain a preservative.
Hyaluronic acid, the conjugate acid of hyaluronate sodium, is extracted from the capsule of Streptococcus spp, and purified, resulting in a form, which is essentially free of protein and nucleic acids. Legend Injectable Solution is supplied in 2 ml [20 mg] and 4 ml [40 mg] vials.
Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian and is not for use in horses intended for food. Safety in breeding animals has not been determined with Legend Injectable Solution.
Winners Edge for Horses
From Winners Edge
For over 20 years, Winners Edge has researched, formulated and manufactured vitamin and mineral supplements, premixes and probiotics for all species of livestock and show animals. During this period, countless champions have benefited from the use of Winners Edge products in their daily nutritional programs, training and competition. The company prides itself on producing consistent, high quality products that are growing in popularity and perform at a reasonable price.
Winners Edge Horse Supplement is a complete, all natural product with a combination of chelated minerals, vitamins [A, D3, E, K the entire B complex], amino acids, buffer, Kicker probiotics [microbials] and enzymes designed specifically for the optimum utilization of nutrients and balance of amino acids to promote proper nervous and motor functions, increased feed efficiency, better muscle tone, and proper bone, tendon and hoof development
Used by many successful breeders, trainers and competitors, Winners Edge Horse Supplement helps build, stabilize and maintain red blood counts to increase stamina-without high levels of liver damaging iron-and increase microbial activity in the gut to reduce stress, maintain appetite, increase attention span and eliminate valleys during training and after competition. It is not a protein or a fat additive, but a complete source of the daily nutritional requirements of the performance horse that is economical and effective.
West Nile Virus started out as a small disease outbreak the summer of 1999 in New York. It extended its geographic bounds by the summer of 2000, spreading south through the eastern states through the summer of 2001. It reached the Midwest and some western states by the fall of 2002. Now, the disease has reached nearly all regions in continental United States.
The disease known as West Nile Virus [WNY] is recognized for its inflammatory effects on the brain and neurologic system of humans and horses. This virus also affects birds, some dying as a result. Birds serve as carriers for the virus; mosquitoes feed on birds and then are able to infect a person or a horse with their subsequent bites.
Potentially any mammal can be infected by the virus if exposed to mosquito bites, but mostly this disease seems to be contained to birds, horses, and humans.
Horses and humans are considered dead-end hosts, meaning they are not infective to others. Symptoms of WNV include the following : stumbling or tripping, muscle weakness or twitching, partial paralysis, loss of appetite, depression or lethargy, head pressing or tilt, impaired vision, wandering or circling, inability to swallow, inability to stand up, fever, convulsions, coma and death. If your horse exhibits any of these symptoms, see your vet immediately.
In 2002, West Nile Virus exploded throughout the U.S. Equine population, resulting is 15,257 documented cases. The USDA estimated a mortality rate of approximately one third of horses showing clinical signs of WNV disease. Although the total number of cases in the United States declined in 2003, WNV presented itself in various geographic regions, including a five-fold increase in clinical cases reported in the Mid-Atlantic States, demonstrating that this disease remains dangerous and unpredictable.
There are two vaccines on the market to combat West Nile Virus. Below are their information. Consult your veterinarian when choosing which product works best for you and your horse.
From Fort Dodge Animal Health
The West Nile-Innovator vaccine from Fort Dodge Animal Health is the first vaccine fully-licensed by the USDA to prevent West Nile Virus in horses. Millions of doses have been safely administered to horses throughout the U.S. During the current epidemic.
The vaccine is administered by your veterinarian in two doses, three to six weeks apart. Horses need up to four weeks to develop immunity, so be sure to contact your veterinarian well in advance of mosquito season.
The West Nile-Innovator vaccine is available only from a licensed, practicing veterinarian. It is important to remember that vaccines that protect your horse against encephalitis do not protect against Western, Eastern and/or Venezuelan encephalitis, you should vaccinate against West Nile Virus as well.
Innovator has been shown to be 95 percent effective in challenge studies. Vaccinated horses in FDAH studies developed WNV-neutralizing antibodies, as measured by the standard plaque reduction neutralization test. Finally the induction of significant neutralizing antibody levels gives a reasonable expectation of efficacy.
Merial, a world-leading animal health company, announced in January release of a new equine vaccine-Recombitek Equine West Nile Virus [WNV] Vaccine. The recent USDA approval of the product offers veterinarians a first-of-its-kind product backed by cutting-edge science to offer fast-acting and long-lasting protection from the often deadly West Nile Virus.
"The RECOMBITEK West Nile Virus vaccine uses recombinant DNA technology to stimulate a fast, multifaceted and long-lasting immune response proven by natural mosquito challenge of West Nile Virus," says Dr. Mike Murray, Merial Equine Technical Director for Strategic Development. "The fast acting immune response was demonstrated in a controlled trial that showed horses were protected from viremia caused by West Nile Virus infection when challenged as early as two weeks after completion of the two-vaccination series."
The benefits of recombinant vaccine technology include a fast, multifaceted [humoral and cell-mediated] immune response, targeted antigen presentation, and a level of safety inherent to this technology due to the fact that there is no possibility of live virus replication. In addition, the vaccine offers year-long protection against West Nile Virus infection. STW