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PARASITE MANAGEMENT [ this includes mules and horses too!]

 BY: Paulette Jacklin

Worms are a fact of life for all animals, including people. A limited amount won't hurt. But since donkeys are confined to pastures and eating grass where manure is close by, they pick up more worm eggs/larvae than they would in the wild. Parasite management is a crucial part of your donkey’s health.

 Parasites can be internal or external and come in many forms. Donkeys can contract parasites and their larva through contact with feed, dirt, birds, squirrels and a host of other sources. It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain a proper parasite program.

 How do you know if your donkey needs to be wormed? If you notice your donkey rubbing his/her tail and rump on rails, walls, posts (or whatever), if an otherwise lean donkey has a pot belly or if you notice he/she is not shedding out hair like he/she should be.

 The products used for de-worming come in many forms and most are acceptable for use in a donkey. Always read and follow the directions. If you are unsure about the proper program for your area contact your veterinarian.

 I have listed some paste wormers below. Wormers are also available in a daily feed variety; however, since donkeys don't need to be fed a daily grain, it isn't practical.

 FENBENDAZOLE: Effective against Redworm, Pinworm, Roundworm, Stomach Hair Worm and Large-mouthed Stomach Worm. It's a safe wormer; your donkey can withstand an overdose. For this reason, it is often used to clear out immature parasites, which are particularly resistant to wormers, by giving a dose twice a day for five days. SAFE-GUARD is a popular Fenbendazole wormer.

 OXIBENDAZOLE is effective against Large Roundworms, Large Strongyles, Pinworms, Threadworms. It may not target as many parasites as other wormers, but it is almost 100% effective on the ones listed. It's a safe wormer and a donkey can withstand an accidental overdose if the safety clip gives way. ANTHELCIDE EQ is a popular Oxibendazole wormer.

 IVERMECTIN: is effective against Redworms, Pinworms, Lungworms, Roundworms, Stomach Hair Worms, Large-mouthed Stomach Worms, Neck and Intestinal Threadworms, Bots. It's one of the most effective wormers available, although it is not effective against small encysted strongyle or tapeworms. Ivermectin is a safe wormer and your donkey can withstand an accidental overdose if the safety clip gives way. ZIMECTRIN and EQUIMECTRIN are popular Ivermectin wormers. Generic Ivermectin is also Available.

 PRAZIQUANTEL: is effective against Roundworms and Tapeworms. It is not effective against many types of parasites, but it is one of the few that will kill tapeworms. It will target almost all parasites when paired with Ivermectin. PRAZIQUANTEL-IVERMECTIN blends are in ZIMECTRIN GOLD and EQUIMAX.

PYRANTEL PAMOATE: is effective against: Redworms, Pinworms, Roundworms, Intestinal Threadworms and Tapeworms (Note: Effective on tapeworms only at a double dose level). It is safe to double dose. STRONGID AND EXODUS are popular PYRANTEL PAMOATE based wormers.

 MOXIDECTIN: effective against Encysted Small Strongyle Larvae and Bot Fly Larvae. MOXIDECTIN is controversial because while it is the only wormer that can kill the above parasites in a single dose, the overdose tolerance is not there like in the other wormers. It should not be given to a foal or a sick or elderly donkey that is in a weakened state and is only recommended for healthy adult donkeys. Care must be given when administering the dose to avoid accidental overdosing. I will usually have my vet administer it or I will pre-measure the dosage in another tube to avoid accidental overdose should the safety tab fail. QUEST is a popular MOXIDECTIN based wormer.

 VERY IMPORTANT: if you have recently acquired an older donkey [or mule or horse] that has never been wormed, it is CRUCIAL not to overdose them. Start with a mild wormer and give "1/2" the recommended dose. A massive die off of internal parasites can produce a poisonous waste product that could kill the equine.

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