Study: Tablet Form of Dewormer as Effective as Gel

A new tablet dewormer was deemed as safe and effective against large strongyle infections in horses as the gel formulation of the same drug, according to a controlled study recently published in Parasitology Research.

"Large strongyles (Strongylus vulgaris, Strongylus equinus, and Strongylus edentatus) are among the common and most troublesome parasites," the study authors noted. "Unless treated adequately with anthelmintics, they pose serious problems on overall health and performance of the infected animals."

The study utilized 18 horses from 1 to 2 years old. The horses were artificially infected with three species of large strongyles. Researchers then administered either a placebo tablet, Equimax Tabs (a tablet containing ivermectin and praziquantel), or Equimax oral gel as a reference drug.

"Taken together, our data demonstrate that the tablet formula was at least as safe and efficacious as the gel formula (Equimax oral gel) in killing immature Strongylus spp. larvae and in reducing arterial lesions in the parasite-infected horses," the study authors said.

Commenting on the study, Craig Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD, president of East Tennessee Clinical Research, said, "This study confirms that many anthelmintics are effective, regardless of the form in which they are administered, which contradicts the notion that dewormers work better when given by stomach tube."

The study was sponsored by Virbac S.A. The tablets are commercially available in Europe.

The study, "Anthelmintic efficacies of a tablet formula of ivermectin-praziquantel on horses experimentally infected with three Strongylus species," is available online.  

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Rhona Melsky

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