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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Panacur vs Tube Worming (and salt blocks)

Hello Dr. Getty,
Thank you for this very friendly and informative forum. I just purchsed an underweight 13 yo QH mare. I plan on drilling on her but don't want to put too much stress on her until she gains weight. I haven't yet had her vet checked. I feed free choice hay, and once daily mixture of 12% pellets, alfalfa pellets, beet-pulp, and a ground flax seed supplement. She also has access to a salt block at all times. I would like to feed 2X daily but am unable to at this time. I know she needs work on her teeth as she keeps her head in her bucket and continually drops her feed back in as she eats. When she's done the bottom is covered with moist, chewed up feed.
I have 2 questions . . . One, I use a mineral block for my horses but I noticed you recommend a plain white salt block. What are the pro's and con's of the 2 choices?
My second question is regarding her first worming. I am going to get a comprehensive vet check in the next week or two. My plan was to have her tube wormed initially & then to do rotational worming every other month. After reading many of your posts, I think I'll try the daily wormer for all of my horses. I've been curious about this for some time. So, is the Panacur Powerpak better than or the same as a tube worming? Or is the tube worming an archaic practice as many people are now telling me?
Thanks again for your forum, I will be visiting often.
Angela in DFW Texas

Where are you from? Texas

How did you locate this forum? member e-mail on Horse Training group on Yahoo

Re: Panacur vs Tube Worming (and salt blocks)

Greetings Angela (from in DFW Texas!)

Thank you for the wonderful questions and first let me congratulate you on your new mare. She is lucky to have found you.

I'm glad you're getting her teeth attended to because this is the number one reason for weight loss and inability to gain weight.

You asked about the mineral block vs plain white salt lick. Well, I generally recommend feeding a comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in the gaps in a forage based diet. And, from what you describe, feeding flax, beet pulp, and alfalfa is just great -- but there is still a need to replace the vitamins and minerals that are missing. So, for example, I would recommend replacing the flaxseed meal with one that has both flaxseed meal plus added vitamins and minerals, such as Glanzen or even Glanzen Complete.

So, if this is done, there is no need to add a mineralized salt lick. Plus, these salt licks are mostly salt and horses will often lick them just to get the salt and don't necessarily need the extra minerals. Or conversely, they may completely avoid them because the mineral content makes them extremely bitter. Horses instinctively crave salt and therefore, providing a plain white lick is the best thing for them.

About worming.... You are wise to have your vet worm her first since she could suffer an impaction if you were to worm her yourself after going for a long period of time without worming. So, doing this under a vet's supervision at first is beneficial and safer.

I like a daily wormer, which is not the Panacur Power Pak. It is a low dosage of pyrantel tartrate, which is a much milder way to go than paste worming every two months. Paste wormers will have lasting effects for 4 to 6 days and then worm infestations build up again. So, by the time you worm again in two months, the infestation is considerable. Daily worming, on the other hand, provides a steady low dosage and doesn't shock the system. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to paste worm twice a year along with the daily wormer -- ivermectin for bots right now in the late spring/early summer. And, a combo of ivermectin and prazaquantel (for tapeworms) in the fall.

Panacur Power Pak is something that I recommend once or twice each year to get rid of encysted larvae, which the other wormers don't do a good job of killing. This is a double dose of fenbendazole for 5 straight days. Many horses who are fed well but still have a dull coat and a listlessness to their personality, will markedly improve after killing these larvae.

I hope this is helpful! Enjoy!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO