Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanks, But We'd Like to Pass

We worm our horses in the spring and the fall.  The rest of the year, I do fecal counts and we worm only if the results indicate worms.  The horses are due for their fall worming and Jackson's manure was looking suspiciously loose.  So, the other morning I collected samples and got to work.  I did Jackson first and sure enough I saw lots of roundworm larvae when I peeked in the microscope.  I gave him the last dose of pyrantel we had on hand and collected samples from the rest of the herd.
Flash, Winston, Donkeys (since they share a stall, I can't differentiate one donkey's poop from the other)

Up at the house, I prepared the slides.
Flash had a medium load, Winston a light load and the donkeys light as well.  I ordered more wormer and it arrived last night.

After the horses had their morning buckets, but before they went out into the pasture for hay, I administered the wormer.  Passage sat in the sunshine of the barn aisle and watched.  I'm sure she was feeling very smug since she wasn't subjected to the indignity of a tube of wormer paste shoved down her throat.

Flash was first.  When he was younger, worming him was very difficult but over the years he's gotten better about it.  When he sees the tube, he flings his head high in the air and tosses it around.  I hold the tube against the side of his mouth and follow his head.  Eventually, he gives up and accepts the paste.  Except for this morning.  He wouldn't give.  Finally, I had Brett come in and pinch the skin on his neck as a distraction and I was able to get it down his throat.  Flash accepted a cookie from me and I moved on.

Winston was next.  I've only wormed him once before and I didn't remember it being difficult.  However, I think he was watching Flash because he did the exact same thing.  Brett assisted.  Winston got wormed - and then he got a handful of cookies.  He is very motivated by cookies.  I left his stall with yellow wormer all over my sleeve and Winston's nose was smeared.

The donkeys were easy.  They were more concerned about having a halter put on than the wormer.  They never get cookies - except when wormed, trimmed or vaccinated -- so they were very pleased with their treat.

Jackson gets the blue ribbon.  He stood quietly, let me get the tube way in the back of his throat, and swallowed it down.  He is also on restricted cookie intake due to his insulin resistance so he was happy about to get his cookie.

We have another warm, sunny day.  Mid-morning we were already up to 76F. 


  1. I am of the same mind as you regarding worming. Because I pick my paddocks, pastures and clean the stalls everyday we have been worm free for years. Fecals are a good idea. Fortunately, I can worm with just a rope around their neck and over the nose.

  2. So funny how they act like it is going to kill them to eat that stuff. It must be just aweful to taste or maybe it is just the act of doing it. Glad all are done and you'll see no more of those pesky worm critters!

  3. Annette,
    This is a good post - you gave me a good idea to try when worming my Appaloosa. He doesn't care for the taste either, and fortunately, due to good fecal results, he is down to 2 wormers needed annually. He is kind of uncooperative about it, in a gentlemanly, you-want-me-to-eat-what??? kind of way. Your technique with keeping the tube near his mouth as he moves his head is a great idea. I'll try it.

  4. Annette -

    If you wouldn't mind - could you share details about what kind of microscope you use, how you prepare the slides, and how you identify the parasites.

    Thanks - I would love to do my own fecal counts!

  5. Ditto on sharing about your microscope and slides. That is too cool!

  6. you remind me of when I worked with a vet while I was still at school. I had the job of giving a bottle of meds to a pony who did not want to take it. Just when I thought I'd won and that he'd swallowed the lot I realised he'd twisted his lips and the whole draught had run down my sleeve


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