Two dosages of moxidectin oral gel were evaluated and compared to a therapeutic dose of ivermectin oral paste in the control of a spectrum of gastrointestinal parasites of ponies naturally infected in southern Louisiana or Mississippi. Thirty-two mixed-breed ponies ranging in age from one to 21 years were used in this controlled test. Eight weeks prior to the experiment, ponies grazing on contaminated pasture were moved to a paddock and fed a pelleted ration, thus reducing or eliminating the potential for additional infection and ensuring the existence of a population of encysted larvae. Ponies were then allocated to replicates of four animals based on values of fecal strongyle egg counts and percent strongyle larvae composition determined from Baermann sedimentations of fecal cultures. Members of replicates were allocated to one of four treatment groups: moxidectin oral gel administered at 300 μg kg-1 body weight, moxidectin oral gel at 400 μg kg-1, the oral gel vehicle as negative control, and ivermectin oral paste at 200 μg kg-1. Prior to treatment, ponies were confined in pairs to covered concrete runs by treatment group. Two weeks following treatment, necropsy examinations of all animals were performed. Parasites were recovered from the lumen of the stomach, the intestinal tract, the cranial mesenteric artery and its major branches, the peritoneal body wall and from pepsin digests of mucosal scrapings taken from the cecum and large colon. Encysted cyathostome larval burdens were also compared using mural transillumination of segments of the large colon for visualization of the encysted forms. Control ponies were not uniformly infected with the spectrum of parasites; however, moxidectin, at either dosage, compared favorably with ivermectin in the control of the adults of Strongylus vulgaris, Strongylus edentatus, Triodontophorus spp., Oesophagodontus robustus, Trichostrongylus axei, Oxyuris equi, Parascaris equorum, Habronema muscae, as well as both the adult and larval Cyathostominae recovered from the lumen. Moxidectin also appears as efficacious as ivermectin against migrating large strongyle larvae at the two weeks post treatment evaluation. Moxidectin demonstrated a trend towards greater efficacy against encysted cyathostome larvae than a therapeutic dosage of ivermectin, but this difference was not statistically significant. Moxidectin was less effective than ivermectin against Gasterophilus intestinalis and was equally ineffective as ivermectin against Anoplocephala perfoliata.
- Control Methods-Nematoda
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