Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

More thoughts on Deworming your Donkeys

Here are some common "myths" that it seems we need to rethink when it comes to deworming our equine:

1. When you give a paste dewormer, the job is done - your animals are now "parasite-free!"

Not so!  Your donkey's parasites may have developed a resistance to the particular drug.
When I did a fecal egg count for Siog, 6 days after deworming her with Panacur paste, she showed exactly the same parasite burden as before, therefore Panacur was not effective.  Had I not re-checked, her, I might have thought she was clean!

2. The calendar says it's _____ month, therefore I had better deworm my donkeys!

Not so!  Although it's true that internal parasites may be more active at certain times of the year, for example, there is something called a "Spring rise" when more eggs hatch, it's also true that some animals carry heavier burdens than others and may not even need to be dewormed at that time.

3.  I took a manure sample to the vet and the results showed no parasites, therefore, my animal is clean.

Not necessarily so!  It could simply be that the eggs weren't hatching out in the sample you took or that 
the vet only sampled from a small amount or from the outside of the fecal ball instead of the inside.

4.  If one of my animals has internal parasites, then I need to deworm them all (batch deworming.)

Not so!  Some animals are prone to parasite burdens, some are not.  Treat them as individuals.

The best way to deal with all of the above, is to invest in a microscope and learn to do FECs (fecal egg counts) yourself and then to test fairly often, say once a month for each animal.  It's really not hard to learn!


  1. I just did FECs on 2 donkeys. I did them myself as I have learned this technique and taught it. One donkey has 700 and the other 1200 eggs/gram of feces.

    I have read online on one website that over 400epg is considered moderate and it is time to deworm.

    Is there a published table on recommended levels for deworming?

  2. You add up the # of eggs (usually strongyles) that you see and if you are using a double McMaster slide, multiply that # x 25. Make sure to only count the eggs within the grids. If you are over 200, then consider deworming.
    If you're using a different method, the numbers will be different. I'm only familiar with the McMaster method.