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Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

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Jenks
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Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Does anyone feed it to their horses? I use it in my chicken pens, but I keep reading how you can put it in any animal feed and it will also kill internal parasites by damaging and dehydrating them?
Monsterpony
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

I have heard of people feeding it, but no one has shown it to be effective on parasites.

Only study I could find:
Effect of diatomaceous earth as an anthelmintic treatment on internal parasites and feedlot performance of beef steers
Author(s): Fernandez MI, Woodward BW, Stromberg BE
Source: ANIMAL SCIENCE Volume: 66 Pages: 635-641 Part: Part 3 Published: JUN 1998
Times Cited: 3 References: 27 Citation MapCitation Map
Abstract: Thirty crossbreed steer calves were randomly assigned to one of three feedlot treatment groups to evaluate the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth (DE) as an anthelmintic treatment and its effect on subsequent growth performance. Steers were adapted to a cereal-based diet for 15 days on the farm of origin and given an additional 21 days to adjust to the feedlot diet. Calves had not been dewormed prior to starting the study. On day 0 (2 January 1996) the positive control group of steers (CONV; no. = 11) was given 10 mg/kg of albendazole, a second group began receiving (on day 2) 0.3 kg of diatomaceous earth (DE; no. = 9) mixed daily with their food for 46 days and the negative control group (CTRL, no. = 9) received no anthelmintic treatment. Rectal faecal samples were collected upon arrival at the feedlot and the resulting egg counts showed that all steers were positive for nematodes and coccidia. Faecal samples were collected on days 0, 15, 28 and every 28 days thereafter to determine faecal egg counts. The last sample was taken on the day of slaughter. On day 0, the average count for all calves was over 70 eggs per g faeces (epg) for trichostrongyle type eggs; counts for Nematodirus sp., Strongyloides sp., Trichuris sp. and Capillaria sp. were negligible. CTRL and DE steers had higher parasite levels than CONV steers during the 1st (P < 0.01) and 2nd months (P < 0.05) after treatment. Egg counts for CTRL and DE groups decreased in March and none of the groups differed (P > 0.05) significantly for the remainder of the study. Coccidia levels decreased over time similarly for all groups. Offering 20 g DE per kg food intake for 46 days to beef steers on a high cereal-based diet had no effect (P > 0.05) on body weight, average daily gain, dry-matter intake, food conversion or days on food compared with the untreated control steers. Cumulative food conversion during the first 2 months was better for CONV than for DE and CTRL steers (P < 0.01) but did not differ between the latter two groups (P > 0.05). Cumulative food conversion for the rest of the study remained the same for all groups (P > 0.05). CONV calves required fewer days on food than DE calves (P < 0 05) but about the same number as CTRL calves (P > 0.10). Steers in the DE group required a similar number of days on food (230.22 +/- 7.86 days) to reach target end points as CTRL steers (218.75 +/- 8.34 days; P > 0.05) but more days than CONV calves (201.64 +/- 7.11 days; P > 005).

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Jenks
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Fabulous! Thanks! I hate to waste money needlessly! How can they claim this if no one has proved it? If you look it up, you'll see it for sale everywhere as a way to control internal parasites!

Daylene Alford
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

I imagine its because its sold as a nutritional supplement and therefore not regulated by the USDA.

Monsterpony
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Exactly, Daylene. As long as they don't claim it as a drug than it is as unregulated as any other nutraceutical. I heard of a woman who used it and swore that her horses never had parasites on fecal-egg counts. Turned out that the woman was super fastidious and had people on staff that made sure that manure was never on the ground for more than a few minutes. If you pick up all manure that instant it touches the ground, then there is no way to reinfect, thus making any dewormers superfluous.

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Jenks
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Ya? None are transmitted via mosquito, etc? I thought MTW were through a biting midge? SO even if they got it that way, you can interrupt the life cycle that way? Hmmm. Instead of spreading then, perhaps composting might be better? Or something else....

Monsterpony
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Well, if they are transmitted via mosquitoes, then the diatomaceous earth wouldn't do much as they aren't in the GI tract. :D Spreading can kill some parasites/eggs, particularly those that are sun and heat susceptible. It won't do much for the hardier eggs though. You have to torch roundworm eggs or wait a few years for them to die out. Tapeworms are spread by grass mites so spreading wouldn't stop the transmission to the mites.

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Jenks
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

I'm trying to figure out a way to not have to worm so often with ivermectin. I used to do the feed through. Maybe I'll go back to that and just do the ivermectin or moxidectin twice a year?

accphotography
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Have you had fecals done Jenks?

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Jenks
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

No, but I should huh? I mainly do it every 4-6 weeks because of the suspected MTW in Cyn. Are those identifiable in a fecal? I think I read that they were only detectable in a biopsy when they've come to the surface of the skin and caused dermatitis.

accphotography
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Hmph. Yeah I'm not too familiar with those as I haven't had to deal with them yet *knocks on wood*. Otherwise a fecal might save you a few dewormings. I suspect MP will have input on that.

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Monsterpony
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

You can biopsy to find the adults, but it is a bit more invasive. Doing the biopsy for microfilaria is cool though. You just cut out a small piece of skin and stick it in warm saline. After a couple hours, you take the sample and put it under a light microscope and you can see the little microfilaria swarming around in the saline.
I would recommend a fecal egg count before deworming so you know what you need to treat for, therefore selecting the most useful dewormer. Parasites are starting to develop resistance to dewormers so using the wrong one or deworming more often than is necessary can lead to more resistance.

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accphotography
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

My husband is a very conservative wormer. He worms in spring and after the first freeze with Ivermectin. The only other time they get wormer is if they start looking ratty (pot bellied, dull coated, etc., and worming when they do nearly always works). I've never done a fecal on Lace but I really want to deworm her as little as possible while she's pregnant (I just don't want to add anything more than necessary into her system) so I took a fecal in this morning and we'll see what they say. She got Equimax in mid April so I'm not sure what to expect. The reason I'm wondering if she needs it is that she's rubbing the heck out of her tail, but that could be unrelated I know.

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accphotography
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Re: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Well it came back "essentially negative". One figure was zero and the other was 50. My vet said they didn't treat until that 50 number was over 500. So I'm glad I didn't worm her just because. She said to recheck in the fall when the parasites are more active.

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