FDA Approves New Equine Dewormer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new, broad-spectrum parasite control product from Merial that will treat and control 61 species and stages of equine parasites, including tapeworms.

Zimecterin Gold combines two active ingredients, ivermectin and praziquantel, to provide a broad spectrum of parasite control. Praziquantel is proven to have a wide margin of safety and to be highly effective for controlling tapeworms in dogs, cats, and now horses. Zimecterin Gold is the first equine dewormer licensed in the United States for the control of equine tapeworms. Along with the tapeworms, the FDA confirmed that Zimecterin Gold is effective at controlling 32 species and stages of small strongyles along with control of large strongyles, bots, roundworms, threadworms, pinworms, hairworms, lungworms, and stomach worms.

According to Duane Maye, DVM, Product Manager for Merial Equine Global Enterprise, Zimecterin Gold represents another important breakthrough.

"We're very excited to introduce Zimecterin Gold," said Maye. "It provides all the protection that comes with Zimecterin, in addition to controlling tapeworms. Used as the foundation, or principal dewormer in any parasite control program, Zimecterin Gold should help to reduce the incidence of parasite-related colic and a host of other gastrointestinal problems commonly associated with parasite infections."

Tapeworms in the U.S.

Veterinary reports over the last 10 years point to an increasing prevalence of tapeworm infection in horses. A review of studies involving more than 800 horses showed that tapeworm infection rates ranged from 26-72%. Anoplocephala perfoliata, the common equine tapeworm, is the most frequent species seen and accounts for more than 90% of all tapeworm infections.

Evidence of tapeworm infection is easily and frequently missed using routine diagnostic methods. Tapeworm eggs are rarely seen on standard fecal examinations, even in horses shown to be heavily infected.

Research has also shown there is a strong link between tapeworm infection and spasmodic colic, as well as intussusceptions at the junction of the small and large intestines. A study published in Parasitology Today reported that 22%, or nearly one out of every four spasmodic colic cases examined, were associated with tapeworm infection. Intussusception occurs when the small intestine prolapses or "telescopes" into itself. It is a dangerous and often life-threatening condition, requiring surgical repair.

Zimecterin Gold will be available in the United States to veterinarians and through tack stores, catalogues, equine supply companies, and other retail outlets beginning in late summer of 2003.

Merial provides a comprehensive range of pharmaceuticals and vaccines for a wide range of animal species. For further information, please see www.merial.com.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners