What Is Fenbendazole and Is FenCare Right for My Horse?
You want to give your horse the best care possible, and that means providing the quality feed, water, shelter, and exercise he needs. It also means controlling internal parasites so that his overall health and quality of life remain as excellent as possible. There are many different types of equine internal parasites, and different ways that they infect your horse. To combat this, there areseveral different types (“classes") of equine dewormers, and one of these is fenbendazole—the active ingredient in Farnam FenCare dewormer. To help you understand what fenbendazole is and whether it might be right for your horse, let's take a closer look at the product and its uses.
A safe treatment
While you should always follow your veterinarian's recommendations, it's helpful to understand that fenbendazole is a safe drug for many horses, provided that label directions are followed. “Fenbendazole has a wide safety margin," says Chappell. The product is safe for use in horses, including pregnant mares and stallions. While fenbendazole is effective at eliminating its targeted parasite species, it does this in a way that is gentle on the host animal—your horse. Handling the product is safe and product users should refer to label recommendations for any questions.
One tool in the toolbox
There are several different types of equine dewormers, representing different chemical classes. These products work to eliminate different types of internal parasites in different ways. Consider fenbendazole to be one of multiple tools in your deworming toolbox, and you'll want to educate yourself on the other types as well.
What is fenbendazole?
“Fenbendazole is a broad-spectrum equine dewormer (anthelmintic), effective against adult large and small strongyles, ascarids (roundworms) and pinworms," explains Duane E. Chappell DVM, Associate Director, Equine PV & PS of Merck Animal Health. “It is part of the benzimidazole family of equine deworming products." It is also the active ingredient in Farnam FenCare dewormer.
“It is critical for horse owners to understand the different chemical classes of dewormers and the importance of using them strategically to help minimize further resistance to currently available equine deworming compounds," Chappell says, noting that the goal of a strategic deworming program is not to eradicate all parasites from all horses on the farm. “[The goal] is to reduce the parasite burden in each horse so that he is healthy. The only way to effectively accomplish this goal, using the deworming products available, is to employ the help of a veterinarian and take a science-based approach to identify the 'right horse' and give him the 'right dewormer' at the 'right time,'" he says.
Determining whether your particular horse is a “high" or “low" egg shedder will play a key role in structuring his deworming regimen, and your veterinarian can ascertain this information through a fecal egg count (“FEC") test. A follow-up test—the fecal egg count reduction test (“FECRT") is performed after the dewormer has been administered to evaluate its performance on the particular animal.1
A healthy horse
Will you see any specific visual results after administering fenbendazole for horses? The answer is yes—and possibly a very good result.
“A positive observation may include weight gain and improved haircoat quality, reflecting an improvement in general health pending the level of internal parasite infestation present prior to administration of an anthelmintic product," says Chappell. He also explains that depending on the level of parasite infestation, horse owners may see adult roundworms pass in the fecal material after deworming a young horse. “Beyond the roundworm observation," he says, “many other internal parasites are quite small and unlikely to be seen with the naked eye."
FenCare: easy to use
Farnam FenCare dewormer is a single-dose, pelleted feed product that is mixed with a horse's regular feed ration. This makes it easy to administer the product and you won't need to withhold food or water prior to usage, although you will need to ensure that your horse consumes the correct dose and doesn't leave any product behind. “Used in accordance with the product label, this deworming method is advantageous for horses that do not easily consume a paste dewormer by mouth," says Chappell. “In either presentation, paste or feed deworming, complete product consumption and proper dosing based upon weight is necessary for effective treatment."
Indeed, one of the main advantages of FenCare dewormer is its simplicity. In fact, it's potentially possible to administer FenCare dewormer without even putting a halter on your horse! And because not all horses are super cooperative about receiving paste dewormers, FenCare dewormer might be just the alternative method you need to make the deworming process easier. Another helpful feature: FenCare dewormer is more concentrated than some products and is fed at a smaller feeding rate, making it even easier to administer.
Remember—all horses have internal parasites to some extent, as this is simply a part of equine life. While complete eradication of the parasites is unrealistic, targeted deworming products like Farnam FenCare dewormer can help control parasites while keeping parasite resistance to a minimum. Farnam FenCare dewormer is an easy-to-use fenbendazole product that can help make your life easier as you strive to keep your horse healthy!
1. Farnam. “Deworming Handbook & Infographic," https://www.farnam.com/stable-talk/deworming-handbook-and-infographic