Is your Deworming Product Controlling for Tapeworms?

Information about the link between tapeworms and colic in horses, and the need to use a deworming product that control tapeworms. From Meriol, the makes of ZIMECTERIN Gold.

December 14th, 2012 — With the link between tapeworms, specifically Anoplocephala perfoliata, and spasmodic, impaction and intussusception-related colic,1,2 it’s critical horse owners use products in their deworming programs that control for tapeworms. Does the product you’re using control for tapeworms?

“To effectively manage tapeworms, horse owners need to incorporate a product such as one with praziquantel, which specifically controls that parasite,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, equine specialist for Merial’s Large Animal Services. Praziquantel is found in ZIMECTERIN? Gold (ivermectin/praziquantel). Although there are generic ivermectin dewormers, there are no generics that contain praziquantel to control tapeworms, which is critical because of the link between tapeworms and colic.”

The threat of anything that could be related to colic is something horse owners dread – and with good reason. Colic has been identified as one of the leading causes of death in horses.3 In one study, 80 percent of ileal impaction colic cases examined were associated with tapeworms. Other findings from that study showed 22 percent of spasmodic colic cases had concurrent tapeworm infections.4

Besides their association with colic, tapeworms can also lead to recurring diarrhea, progressive weight loss and anemia.5 Understanding the tapeworm lifecycle, illustrated below, can help horse owners determine the best time to treat.

“General recommendations are to treat for tapeworms in the spring and the fall, but horse owners should consult their veterinarians for more specific treatment protocols, especially if the horse is on a selective deworming program,” says Dr. Cheramie.

Because tapeworms pose a threat to horses’ overall health and there is no reliable fecal diagnostic test for tapeworm infections like there are for other parasites,4 horse owners need to be vigilant about treating for them. And they should be sure to treat with a product that has been proven to be effective against tapeworms.

More information about effective deworming strategies and ZIMECTERIN? Gold (ivermectin/praziquantel) can be found at

ZIMECTERIN Gold combines ivermectin, a leading ingredient that controls a wide variety of parasites, and praziquantel, an ingredient that specifically controls tapeworms. Together, they provide excellent equine parasite control. ZIMECTERIN Gold is approved to control more species and stages of equine parasites than any other brand, including benzimidazole-resistant small strongyles.6 It controls 47 species and stages of equine parasites in all.6,7

Important Safety Information
Warning: Not for use in humans. Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. In horses, there have been rare reports of swelling and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue following administration of ZIMECTERIN Gold. These reactions have been transitory in nature. Do not use in other animal species as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

1 Proudman CJ, French NP, Trees AJ. Tapeworm infection is a significant risk factor for spasmodic colic and ileal impaction colic in the horse. Eq Vet Journal. 1998;30(3):194-199.
2 Barclay WP, Phillips TN, Foerner JJ. Intussusception associated with Anoplocephala perfoliata in five horses. JAVMA. 1982;180(7)752-753.
3 Camargo F. Colic in horses. Cooperative Extension Service. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Available at: Accessed October 4, 2012.
4 Proudman CJ, Trees AJ. Tapeworms as a cause of intestinal disease in horses. Parasitol Today. 1999;15(4):156-159.
5 Gardner R. Is your horse protected against tapeworm? Available at: Accessed October 4, 2012.
6 Based on data provided in the ZIMECTERIN Gold FDA Freedom of Information summaries.
7 Based on data provided on the ZIMECTERIN Gold label.
?ZIMECTERIN is a registered trademark of Merial Limited. ?2012 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIZIM1220 (11/12)

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!