Ivermectin is an over-the-counter medication used to control internal parasites in horses and other animals. It is macrocyclic lactone medication and is one of the most widely used dewormers or anthelmintics in the equine industry. [1]

Ivermectin is effective against a wide range of parasites, including small and large strongyles, ascarids, pinworms, botflies as well as external parasites, such as mites or lice. This medication is available in both a paste and liquid format. [2]

Incorporating ivermectin as part of a comprehensive parasite control program enables horse owners to protect their horses from parasitic infestations. However, some parasites are developing resistance to ivermectin and other deworming agents due to the improper use of these products.

Consult with your veterinarian prior to administering ivermectin paste or liquid to your horse. Your veterinarian will help you determine the proper dosage regimen and provide guidance for an effective deworming strategy. [3][4]

Ivermectin Paste for Horses

Ivermectin for Horses

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that is commonly prescribed to treat and prevent a wide range of internal parasites in equids. It works by interfering with the nerve and muscle function of parasites, leading to their paralysis and death.

Common brand names for ivermectin paste formulated specifically for horses include:

  • Bimectin Paste
  • Durvet Ivermectin Paste
  • Equimec
  • Duramectin Paste
  • Powermectin
  • IverCare
  • Equimax Paste
  • Zimecterin
  • Imec (Ivermectin Oral Paste P)
  • Vetrimec Paste
  • Intermectin Paste
  • Equimectrin

Ivermectin is generally well-tolerated in horses and has a wide margin of safety. However, it’s important to administer the correct dosage based on the horse’s body weight and instructions from your veterinarian.

Parasites

Ivermectin is effective against a broad spectrum of parasites in horses, including nematodes and arthropods. It is used to treat infestations with the following parasites: [3][4][5]

  • Small strongyles (Cyathostomin spp.)
  • Large strongyles ( vulgaris, S. edentatus, S. equinus)
  • Ascarids (Parascaris equorum)
  • Botflies (Gastrophilus intestinalis)
  • Threadworms (Strongyloides westeri)
  • Pinworms (Oxyuris equi)

While ivermectin is effective against many common parasites, no dewormer is effective against all parasites. For example, tapeworms (A. perfoliata) are not susceptible to ivermectin when used on its own. The typical treatment for tapeworms consists of praziquantel with or without another medication, such as ivermectin or moxidectin. [1]

Internal vs. External Parasites

Horses can be affected by both internal parasites (endoparasites) and external parasites (ectoparasites). Internal parasites inhabit the inside of the host organism, targeting organs and systems, while external parasites live on the surface of the host, often affecting the skin and outer orifices.

Ivermectin is more commonly used against internal parasites, but may also be used to address external parasites, such as mites or lice.

Mites

Mites are small, parasitic arthropods that cause mange in horses, which is a skin condition that results in irritation, discomfort, itching and hair loss. Two common mite species in horses are Chorioptes equi (leg mites) and Sarcoptes scabiei (sarcoptic mange mites). [6]

Oral ivermectin has been used to treat different types of mange in horses, including psoroptic, chorioptic and sarcoptic mange. However, ivermectin is not officially labeled for the treatment of mange, and not all mites are susceptible to its effects. [3][4][7]

Lice

Lice are another type of ectoparasite that infest the horse’s skin and coat. Sucking lice (Haematopinus asini) feed on the horse’s tissues and blood, causing significant skin irritation, itching and hair loss.

Ivermectin (or moxidectin) has been shown to produce results in controlling sucking lice. [8]