Controlling parasites in horses is an important issue in horse health care.
Concerns relating to chemical equine dewormers, such as drug resistance, may often encourage some horse owners to make use of natural dewormers instead. It is pretty understandable why some would consider using natural deworming agents but before you introduce something to your horse, whether natural or not, you need to question its safety and efficacy.
Safety Concerns and Dosage
A lot of people would definitely investigate a product’s safety profile but natural products like herbal wormers may be potentially dangerous to the equine health if used at effective dosages. Herbal dewormers are as effective as it is toxic. The three most potent herbal wormers are wormseed, wormwood, and male fern. These herbs produce toxicity to the nervous system and may also potentially damage other organs. There is a fine line between the effective and toxic dose that the more sensitive horses can show signs of toxicity even at usual dosages. The use of herbs has proven effective indeed, yet there have been records of toxicities and deaths produced. Black Walnut is another natural wormer that may fight equine parasites but may increase the risk of laminitis.
Pumpkin seeds are considered as an effective dewormer, but huge amounts should need to be consumed to get an effect. A human could use these seeds as a worming agent but must need to consume as much as 1 pound to experience the effect. What more for a horse?
Think About It . . .
- If your horse has to have pumpkin seeds to kill of parasites inside him, he would need to consume around 5-10 pounds all at one time to make sure it works.
- The popular diatomaceous earth will not work in wet environments, i.e. the digestive tract of your horse.
- Traditional deworming pastes have established safety profile and are economical
- Granulated equine dewormers are as effective and safe, but more cost-effective and convenient to use.
- Most horses don’t need a lot of deworming, except for those with exceptionally high worm burdens.
In conclusion, you could not expect diatomaceous earth to have an effect when ingested and though, several plant sources have anti-parasitic activity their margin of safety may be of concern. If you give these products and don’t observe side effects, chances are the amounts given may not be enough to be effective either.