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Vet Parasitol. 2010 Oct 29;173(3-4):349-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Shortened strongyle-type egg reappearance periods in naturally infected horses treated with moxidectin and failure of a larvicidal dose of fenbendazole to reduce fecal egg counts.

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  • 1Department of Animal and Food Sciences, 611 WP. Garrigus Bldg., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA.


Deworming horses with anthelmintics that have activity against encysted small strongyle larvae (L(3) and L(4)) is a common practice in parasite control programs. The two drugs currently available for this use are moxidectin (MOX) administered in a single dose of 0.4 mg/kg and fenbendazole (FBZ) given at the larvicidal dose (10mg/kg for 5 days). Here, we report the efficacy of MOX and the larvicidal dose of FBZ for reducing counts of strongyle-type eggs per gram of feces in naturally infected horses. Fecal egg counts (FECs) of 15 yearlings were observed following deworming. On day 0, 6 of the 15 yearlings were administered a larvicidal dose of FBZ; 14 days later, all 15 yearlings received MOX at a single dose of 0.4 mg/kg. Feces were collected on day 0 for pre-treatment egg counts. Feces were collected at weekly intervals thereafter during FEC observation periods. FECs of FBZ-treated horses were compared at day 0 and 14 days post-treatment. The difference in means pre- and post-treatment with FBZ was not statistically significant (p=0.65). On days 0 and 42 of the MOX treatment observation period the mean FEC of the yearlings that had not received the FBZ treatment did not differ significantly from that of the FBZ-treated yearlings. MOX was effective in reducing fecal egg counts to 0 EPG for 21 days. At day 35 all but 2 of the yearlings had some eggs present (range=4-361 EPG) and at day 42 all but 1 yearling had eggs present (range=3-432 EPG). At day 42 the group mean FEC reduction had fallen from 100% to 67%. Results of this study do not support the use of the larvicidal dose of FBZ for small strongyle control. Larger field studies will be needed to investigate whether egg reappearance periods are shortening for MOX-treated horses.

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