Sunday, September 21, 2014

Deworming the Boys

We dewormed the horses yesterday.  I haven't really mentioned anything about it, but I'm trying out a new deworming regime on Chrome to see if his sweet itch isn't related to neck threadworms.  It's gross, but if you want more info do a Google search on it.  Basically a lot of people have had success treating sweet itch like symptoms with double doses of Equimax because it kills off the young worms that cause the itching.  Not all cases of sweet itch are caused by the worms, but here's what is ironic... the same gnats that cause sweet itch are the ones that spread neck threadworms... yeah.  So it might all be related.  There is still research being done.  So I dewormed with Quest last month because it had been a while (you don't want to double dose with ivermectin without doing Quest first in case there are a bunch of encysted strongyles).  Yesterday I did the double dose of Equimax.  The good thing is it also gets lungworms that donkeys are prone to as well.  So now we wait.  If it is the threadworms he should start itching intensely in a day or two (it goes away in a couple of days) as the worms die off.  If he doesn't itch then it's probably just the allergy to the gnat saliva that causes sweet itch.  I'm not sure which ones I'm hoping for since the worms are easier to treat (although it's a long term maintenance thing too since the dewormer doesn't kill the adult worm) than the sweet itch.... anyway at least we will have an answer.

Sorry that's not really the point of the post and I've probably left out a lot of relevant information (I'm tired), but I can go into more detail on that another day if you're interested.  If, like me, you're grossed out by it I won't mentioned it again LOL!!  The point of today is that I finally got pictures of how we deworm Zep for those of you curious about how to deworm a donkey that can barely be touched.

We set up an extra panel in the round (not round at the moment) pen to use as a catch pen.  We ease him into the corner and then close the panel in on him until it's like he's in stocks.  Then we can put the halter on him, deworm him, pet him, etc.  Check out the pictures.

Here he is in his makeshift stocks.

This was when I was taking his halter off.
Also shows his size a little.  I'm 5'10" tall.

Fingers crossed someday we will be able to do his hooves.  I actually ran my hand down his front leg which I've never done before.  I was too chicken to do his rear leg since he will kick (he kicked at my husband once for touching his belly).  He bites too by the way.  I was hoping to have the money to geld him this fall (and get his hooves done while he's asleep) but I don't think it's going to work out. :(

Here I'm actually touching his leg for the first time!
Notice him watching me?  And Chrome keeping him company.  :)

I actually touched his belly!  

He has kicked at my husband when he touched his belly, so I didn't have the guts to pet him any further back.

Oh I almost forgot!  I checked Chrome's weight with the measurements and weight calculator that I've mentioned (LINK here) and he is 1128lbs.  We also measured Zep for the first time!!  Up until now we've been guessing his weight.  He weighs 468lbs!  We've been overestimating by about one hundred and fifty pounds lol.  I'm glad wormer has such a big safety margin!!

The best news is that when we opened the panel he walked out and started grazing like he wasn't worried at all.  Do you guys think it would be overly stressful to catch him up like this to pet on him and desensitize him to having his feet done or should I go back to the clicker training and do it that way when I have time?

Anyway I hope you enjoyed seeing Zep again.  I know I haven't been posting much lately and I've definitely not posted much about Zep.  I'm sorry.  I'll try to do better.  I've just been soooo busy!!  I even picked up a side job babysitting tomorrow so there goes that day off!

We did get the storm shelter in recently and we finished pouring the concrete for the ramp leading into it (brother and grandfather are in wheel chairs), so yay for that.  We have the porch halfway screened in.  Also the counter installers shoulder be here within a couple of weeks too so the kitchen is close to being done.  I'm so excited!  I'm glad we're making so much progress but I can't wait to not be so busy.  :)

So how have you all been?  I'm sorry I haven't been by to read your blogs.  I will try to find time as soon as possible.


  1. If you have the time, I would keep working with him in the stocks, until he lets you handle him in just the round pen. If you want to still use the clicker, you can use that as a reward in the stocks. definitely give him some sort of reward/treat in there so that he keeps going in willingly. But it seems like this method is working better for him and is safer for you than just clicker training alone. :-)

  2. For the neck threadworm treatment, don't you also have to do another double-dose of Equimax two weeks later? That's what I remember reading on the COTH thread.

  3. I think this is a good safe method for him and you. Keep an eye out for stress, you don't want him to panic and get hung up in the panels. Try taking a dressage whip and gently (with enough pressure so he doesn't think it is a fly) touching him along his back and legs and eventually his belly. Angle your body so that you are blocking his eye (as much as possible) from seeing the whip. That way he can get used to being touched and you stay safe.

  4. I also agree to keep using the stocks method to gentle Zep. You can use clicker training once he is contained but to get over the initial hump containing him in the panels is the way I would recommend. I had our donkey in an 8x8 stall for the first month we had her due to her poor condition and I needed to gentle her ASAP. If running away isn't an option, it makes the choice of you much easier :)

  5. Frizzle, yes I'll have to do it again in two weeks. So far I haven't seen the itch response at all so he may not have them. I'll still do the second dose anyway to be sure. I think since he isn't itching and since the neem oil actually heals the sores that this is a case of regular sweet itch and not the worms. If it were the worms I would think the neem oil wouldn't work, but it does because it keeps the gnats off. I don't know if I'm happy about that or not LOL! I can't decide which is the lesser of the two evils. Oh well, we will see after this next dose. Also I'm probably going to try again next year since I tried it so late this year.

    Thanks for the tips on Zep guys! I'll definitely have to do that. He is definitely stressed when he first goes in, but after a minute he starts looking around some so I think he will be okay. I'm going to keep the sessions really short though just in case. I don't want to stress him out too much. I also might have figured out a way that I can keep him in a stall in the barn for a little while. It's actually a hen house, but since they all got eaten by the wildlife I can use it for Zep instead. It's the perfect size for him. Fingers crossed it works out. :D

  6. Cole has a problem with adult thread worms--in the saddle area. I did the treatment, and they went away, but a few small ones popped back up this summer. I am going to do another treatment for them.

    When I did Cole the first time, I did Cruiser, too. He was very itchy with little bumps all over. It worked with him. Most of it went away.

    Good luck--Oh--I think the plan with Zep is a good one.

  7. Judi I had no idea Cole had them! The wormer doesn't kill the adult so they will come back every year unfortunately. We will see if Chrome responds to it, but I'm beginning to think he just had normal sweet itch... I hope I don't have to resort to steroids....

  8. Supposedly, for the adults, you have to give a double dose. Eventually, I think they will go away on their own, but it could take years.

    Yeah, I don't like using steroids, either. Cruiser needed them now and then when his hives got very severe--and to help him with his cough.

  9. Oh really?? I haven't finished that extremely long COTH thread so I may have missed something about the adults. The part I read said you can't kill them and that they can live ten years. Ugh!


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