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July 15, 2008

Rotation Worming

An important part of equine maintenance is a proper rotation deworming program.

If left to multiply, worms can wreck havoc with your mule or donkey's health. A heavy parasite load not only depletes your mule or donkey of vital nutrients needed for a healthy body, but also can cause great damage to vital organs.

There are several main classes of wormers. In my deworming program, I rotate between three different types of wormer, using a different one each time. This helps target a broader range of different kinds of parasites, and also helps to avoid problems with the parasites becoming immune to one class of wormer.

The three classes of wormer that I have been using are Ivermectin, Pyrantel Pamoate and Fenbendazole. There are a number of brands of wormer in each class, for example SafeGuard and Panacur are both Fenbendazole wormers. And Equimectrin and Zimecterin are both Ivermectin wormers. Just look on the label, and it will tell what wormer chemical it contains.

Donkeys and mules should usually be wormed once every 2-3 months. Consult your veterinarian to find out what the best worming schedule is for your area. Here is one suggested schedule that I found on the Country Supply website and the Valley Vet Supply website:

January/February - Fenbendazole/Benzimidazole
March/April - Ivermectin
May/June - Pyrantel Pamoate
July/August - Fenbendazole/Benzimidazole
September/October - Ivermectin
November/December - Pyrantel Pamoate

Once I have wormed my animals, I make a note on my calendar of what date I wormed them and what wormer I used. I also make a note when to deworm again, so I don't forget.

On easy way to worm your donkeys is to make "wormer sandwiches" for them. Take two slices of bread and cut them into quarters. Put molasses between the pieces of bread to make four sandwiches. Put your donkey’s dose of paste wormer in one or two of the mini sandwiches. Offer your donkey an unmedicated sandwich as a treat. Once your donkey has eaten that sandwich, offer her the medicated sandwiches one at a time, then the remaining unmedicated sandwiches as a treat. Your donkey will love worming time, and won’t resist taking the medicine!

If you don't want to mess around with making sandwiches, I have also found that my donkeys really like the apple flavored wormer paste.

When you get ready to purchase worming paste, you might want to check the Country Supply website. They usually have really good prices on equine wormer.

With a proper deworming program, your mules and donkeys will stay happy and healthy for years to come!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at July 15, 2008 03:48 PM