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Horse Wormer: Paste vs. Gel – The Great Debate

Horse Wormer: Paste vs. Gel - The Great Debate
Horse Wormer: Paste vs. Gel - The Great Debate


If you own a horse, you know how important it is to deworm your equine friend regularly to prevent parasite infestations that can cause serious health problems. But do you know the difference between horse dewormer paste and gel, and the benefits of each? Here are some facts to help you choose the best option for your horse.


What’s The Difference?

Horse dewormer paste and gel are both oral forms of deworming medication that are administered with a syringe into the horse’s mouth. They usually have a palatable flavor, such as apple or cinnamon, to make them more appealing to the horse. They are designed to treat a variety of parasites, such as bloodworms, pinworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, depending on the active ingredient and dosage.

The main difference between paste and gel is the consistency and texture of the product. Paste is thicker and more solid, while gel is thinner and more liquid. Some horses may prefer one over the other, depending on their mouthfeel and taste preferences. Some owners may also find one easier to handle and administer than the other, depending on their skill and experience.

  • Ingredients: Different dewormers have different active ingredients that target different types of parasites. For example, ivermectin is effective against roundworms, pinworms, and bloodworms, while praziquantel is effective against tapeworms. Some products combine two or more ingredients to broaden their spectrum of action. You should always read the label carefully and follow the instructions for the correct dosage and frequency of use.
  • Consistency: Paste dewormers are thicker and more solid than gel dewormers, which are more liquid and runnier. This can affect how easy or difficult it is to administer the product to your horse. Some horses may prefer one consistency over another, depending on their mouthfeel and taste preferences. You may need to try different products to find out which one your horse likes best.
  • Price: The cost of dewormers can vary depending on the brand, the ingredients, and the amount of product in each syringe. Gel dewormers tend to be cheaper than paste dewormers, but this may not always be the case. You should compare the prices of different products and check how much product you need for your horse’s weight and parasite load. Sometimes, buying in bulk or online can save you some money.
  • Effectiveness: The most important factor to consider when choosing a dewormer is how effective it is against the parasites that your horse has or may have. This depends not only on the ingredients and the dosage of the product, but also on the resistance status of the parasites in your area. Resistance means that some parasites have become less susceptible or immune to certain dewormers over time, due to overuse or misuse of these products. This can reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of parasite-related diseases in horses. To prevent or delay resistance, you should rotate between different classes of dewormers every year, based on your veterinarian’s recommendation. You should also perform fecal egg counts regularly to monitor the parasite burden and the efficacy of your deworming program.


What Are the Benefits of Each?

The benefits of paste are that it is more stable and less likely to leak or spill from the syringe. It may also adhere better to the horse’s tongue and mouth, making it harder for the horse to spit out or reject. The benefits of gel are that it is more flexible and easier to squeeze out of the syringe. It may also dissolve faster in the horse’s saliva, making it easier for the horse to swallow and absorb.

Both paste and gel are effective forms of deworming, if they are given in the correct dose and frequency according to your horse’s weight, age, health, and parasite risk factors. You should always consult your veterinarian before choosing a deworming product and schedule for your horse, as well as follow the instructions on the label carefully. You should also check your horse’s mouth for any food before giving the medication, and make sure he swallows the whole dose without spitting it out.


And The Winner Is…

In conclusion, there is no definitive answer to which type of dewormer is better for your horse: paste or gel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and both can be effective if used correctly and appropriately. The best way to choose a dewormer is to consult with your veterinarian, who can advise you on the best product, dosage, frequency, and timing for your horse’s specific needs.