Controlled trials with a common protocol were conducted in Idaho, Illinois and Tennessee to evaluate anthelmintic effectiveness of Quest® Gel (QG; 2% moxidectin) against lumenal parasites in horses. Candidate horses were required to have naturally acquired nematode infections, as confirmed by presence of strongylid eggs in feces. At each site, 24 equids were blocked on the basis of pretreatment strongyle fecal egg counts (EPG) and randomly assigned to treatments within blocks. Within each block of two animals, one received QG on Day 0 at a dosage of 0.4 mg moxidectin/kg b.w. and one was an untreated control. Body weights measured the day before treatment served as the basis for calculating treatment doses. Horses assigned to treatment with QG received the prescribed dose administered orally with the commercially packaged Sure Dial™ syringe. Horses were necropsied 12-14 days after treatment, and lumenal parasites and digesta were harvested separately from each of five organs, including the stomach, small intestine, cecum, ventral colon and dorsal colon. Parasites from stomachs and small intestines were identified to genus, species and stage. Micro- (i.e., <1.5 cm) and macroparasites (i.e., >1.5 cm) in aliquots from the cecum, ventral colon and dorsal colon were examined in aliquots of approximately 200 parasites until at least 600 parasites had been identified to genus, species and stage or until all parasites in the 5% aliquot were examined, whichever occurred first. Data were combined across sites and analyzed by mixed model analysis of variance to assess the fixed effect of treatment and random effects of site and block within site. Because QG does not contain a cestocide, efficacy of QG against tapeworms was not significant (P > 0.05). Based on geometric means, however, efficacy of QG was greater than 90% (P < 0.05) against 38 species and developmental stages of cyathostomes, strongyles, bots, larval pinworms and ascarids encountered in at least 6 of 36 control horses in the combined data set. None of the horses treated with moxidectin exhibited evidence of adverse effects. Study results demonstrate QG, administered to horses with naturally acquired endoparasite infections at a dosage of 0.4 mg moxidectin/kg b.w., was highly effective against a broad range of equine parasitic infections.
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