Three anthelmintic pastes were compared in terms of their ability to suppress the output of parasite eggs in the faeces of 108 grazing horses at four sites in Britain; the horses were treated once with either ivermectin, fenbendazole or pyrantel. At each site, the horses grazed together throughout the trials which took place during the summers of 1985 and 1986. The median periods before parasite eggs reappeared in faeces were 70 days for ivermectin, 14 days for fenbendazole and 39 days for pyrantel embonate. Geometric mean faecal egg counts in the groups treated with ivermectin and pyrantel were significantly less (P less than 0.05) than in the fenbendazole group on days 21, 28, 35 and 42 after treatment. On days 49, 56, 63 and 70 the mean egg counts in the ivermectin group were significantly lower (P less than 0.05) than those in either of the other groups. The results indicated that in order to ensure minimal contamination of pastures, grazing horses treated with ivermectin paste would have required a second treatment approximately 10 weeks after the first, and to achieve similar control with fenbendazole or pyrantel embonate, a second treatment would have been required after approximately two weeks and six weeks, respectively.
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