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WalkTrotCanter

Garlic, No Worms Coming Out...

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Sorry the title should say Garlic, now* worms coming out. We don't do a regular deworming program at my farm, we have 1 pony and 4 goats, all which do not share pastures. All are fed off the ground and are kept quite cleanly with stalls cleaned twice daily. Because we don't do a reg worming program I do bring fecals in for examination regularly, probably 3 times in the summer and twice in the winter. For about 2 years now all of our animals have been clear according to the fecal exams. However we have had a problem with our pony in the past (about 3 years ago), she had a bout with tape worms and ended up colicing. We brought her to a clinic and they were able to get her back on her feet. It was after this that we began doing regular fecal exams to make sure everyone's been healthy. Mum and I were just discussing the other day how it was due time to bring in more fecals to check them before winter begins, infact we were supposed to do it Monday we just didn't get the opportunity. Well anywho, the other day I had a goat who seemed to be a bit under the weather, so I offered them some garlic cloves. While I was offering them garlic cloves, my pony seemed curious about the treats I was giving out so I gave her a clove too. She had never had one before but she ate it without hesitation. Tonight, two days later, I noticed while she was eating her grain she was mildly kicking with her back legs and holding her tail up...she continued eating and didn't appear technically "colicky" just irritated...I figured id take a peak at what may have been bother her, I lifted up he tail and there is this big ugly round white worm hanging out! I called the vet in a mild panic and explained to her what I was seeing. She mentioned it was most likely a round worm, but they don't usually effect older horses (18)...however there are conditions that can effect their immunity, such as cushings et. She is a laminitic pony and was tested years ago = boarder line IR (insulin resistant), we have not tested since but if she did have cushings or something similar it would explain why she would have round worms when its fairly rare in the older horses. I inspected the manure, but nothing, didn't see a single worm. I did not worm her tonight as the vet suggested bringing a fecal in prior to worming. She was munching on her hay and seemed okay, the part of the worm I could see was drying up and the vet said it would most likely come out when she passed her next stool. So tomorrow when we bring the fecal in we will hopefully have an idea of exactly what worm it is even though the vet is fairly certain based on description and we can follow up with worming protocol at that time.

With all of that said...I'm thinking the little garlic clove killed this worm! I'm sure there is more in there, but I was wondering if this could be a real possibility? Thoughts?

Also, the latest fecal we did was about 3 months ago, would an adult round worm get this large in that short of time or do you think the worm was missed during the exam? Im not sure of the length yet as its still in there, but I can tell its a good size worm, the part sticking out was at least 2 inches.

Edited by WalkTrotCanter

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A fecal exam is not a good way to detect tapeworms. Only if the animal is severely infested might tapeworm segments show up on a fecal. (I work in a large vet diagnostic lab btw) I still worm twice a year using something for tapes even if mine don't show any signs of them on the fecal exam.

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a little warning bell is ringing in my head....something to do with garlic and IR horses and it not being safe - you might want to dig into that a bit.

As far as the worms - I would say you need to worm everyone, regardless of what the fecal ends of showing (or not showing)

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My understanding is garlic for any prolonged length of time is harmful to all equines because it causes them to become anemic. I hope you and your vet are able to figure out what alien-worm this is and be able to eradicate it. It definitely sounded gross for the poor girl to have hanging outta her bahookie. I'd have probably choked out an "Ew!" and freaked out!

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I guess the one question that pops into my head - why no regular deworming program?

Because..

For about 2 years now all of our animals have been clear according to the fecal exams.

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Thanks everyone...

Update - ran more fecals on each goat and the pony yesterday, $130 & the vet cant believe it, they even checked twice! Not a single worm, shed or egg in any of the animals. Vet said I must be giving magic water LOL. I've had fecals done at three different labs over the summer, all the same results, vets always seem surprised lol... I even paid extra for an egg count but with no eggs that was a waste. She kept asking if I was certain it was a worm and I am certain it was. We are worming her this go around just incase and then in the spring checking for cushings again as I was informed cushings can lower immunity causing her to be more prone to worm type problems. Puzzling isn't it?

I work very hard on keeping my animals EXTEMELY clean. Both goat stalls and the pony stall cleaned thoroughly twice daily, all feed is fed off the ground and she has a large grazing area (muzzled) in which she is only in a few hours daily so the worms probably don't get much opportunity to cycle out there. Im in my last months of pregnancy and still make sure my animals environments are spotless even when im exhausted. I focus on cleanliness in order to keep such things like parasites down and other ailments. I'm a bit OCD about it lol. Even vacuuming the cobwebs down.

I've never fed her garlic before, it was just something I thought id let her try as I was giving it to the goats that day. I'm pretty sure that's why we saw the worm though, so im glad I chanced it or I probably wouldn't have known anything was going on with her especially with my fecals consistently showing 0 worms. But yes you guys are correct, if fed regularly it is bad for equines and can lead to anemia.

Edited by WalkTrotCanter

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Zero egg count in a fecal is pretty unusual

As mentioned, Tape worms, unless they are shedding segments, aren't detected by fecals. Not an animal health tech, but have done my stint in human parasitology, as a lab tech

Garlic can cause Heinz body anemia in horses

The appearance of the worm , after that one clove of garlic can be just anecdotal

Sure you never caught an adult pin worm,, coming out to lay eggs?

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Horses+%2B+pin+worms&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=np&source=hp&gws_rd=cr&ei=jZl-UuyENPP7yAGY44CgBA

Unless you have some clinical trials that are double blind, in concerns to garlic as a de -wormer, I will continue to use those that do!

One of the concerns of a daily de -wormer, where the goal is to keep the horses completely free of any parasites, is that they never build up a basic immunity.

Thus, a horse that has never been exposed to round worms (ascarids ), can, when sold to a place that does not use daily de-wormers, develop a severe round worm infection as an adult

I mention this fact, not because you are using a daily de wormer, but if those fecals you quote are truly accurate, and your horses really have zero parasites (hard to believe with the worm appearance), then not unusual for your pony to have ascarids as an adult, as he was never given the chance to build up an immunity to them

You have to be exposed to an antigen/ foreign substance, before your immune system can build an immunity!

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This, from someone who has researched parasite control, including natural alternatives:

Even agents that have shown some worm-killing effect but have shortcomings – either related to toxicity, the range of parasites they kill, or the dosing regimen required to get any effect – are unlikely to be have been tested further scientifically, at least in terms of their potential as a parasite control agent.

He encourages horse owners to look for evidence of effectiveness.

He cites the example of garlic.

“A lot of people like to claim that garlic is able to kill parasites. They smell it and taste it, and figure ‘it has got to do something’.

“There is not much evidence, if any, to support that.”

Here is the link to the entire artical

http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/04/17/do-natural-dewormers-work/#axzz2kBLPWZyA

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This post isn't for the squemish.

This probably dates me pretty much, as I am old. When I was a kid, I gave my horses pipe tobacco, straight from the can. A long stringy cut of it worked the best, gave them a whole can at once. I don't advise this, as we now have much more effecive chemicals. After giving them the tobacco, their manure would usually have several big white worms in it, up to 5 in. long, if I remember right. Watched a colt defecate, once, and as it came out, it was wriggling with worms.

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Garlic contains allicin, which alters the enzymes in red blood cells and deforms them, which are recognized by the spleen and removed. Studies have found that all the red blood cells are depleted within as little as 11 days = Heinz Body Anemia. A safe dose has not been determined, nor have the cumulative effects of it over time. It kills good and bad bacteria in the gut and causes neurogenic switching, which triggers allergic reactions elsewhere...(this has been well studied and documented in people) I've also learned that a horse will voluntarily consume a toxic dose of garlic. Hope this helps...

I'm the same way about poo. There are no flies around here. I still deworm them 2x/year, just because and I quarantine them for 24/36 hours while I do it, so it lowers the risk of re-infecting the pastures. From what I've learned, garlic has no place in my barn. Fecals are inconclusive and I'd rather spend my money on the wormer and get it done. I call it colic insurance. Tapeworms are site specific. They like to congregate all around the stomach valve until they impact it......no thanks.

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