Deworming (sometimes known as worming or drenching) is the giving of an anthelmintic drug (a wormer, dewormer, or drench) to an animal to rid it of intestinal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm. Purge dewormers for use in livestock are often formulated as a liquid that is squirted into the back of the animal's mouth, as an injectable, or as a pour-on which can be applied to the animal's topline. In horses, purge dewormers are most commonly formulated in an oral paste or gel form, but a liquid drench form is often used by veterinarians. Daily or continuous wormers are also commonly used in horses. In dogs and cats, purge dewormers come in many forms including a granular form to be added to food, pill form, chew tablets, and liquid suspensions.
Nearly two billion people worldwide are infected with soil-transmitted helminthes (intestinal worms) or water-borne trematode worms called schistosomes. Many of those affected by worms live in low-income countries and do not have access to clean water and functional sanitation systems. Worm infections, while not immediately life-threatening, can have a significant negative impact on a child’s cognitive ability and general health. For example, children who have worms are more likely to become seriously ill and less likely to attend school on a regular basis. Worms also present a barrier to increased economic development since children who have worms are less likely to be productive as adults.
A number of organizations promoted the deworming of children in the developing world as a public health and development strategy. Because of the relatively low cost, deworming has attracted the attention of public health officials, development experts, and others concerned with global health, with early studies suggesting positive effects. While treating children who are infected looks like it is effective, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that routine deworming, in the absence of a positive test, improves nutrition, haemoglobin, school attendance or school performance.
Deworming (drenching) a sheep is usually done with a specific drenching gun that squirts an anthelmintic into the sheep's throat.
- Horse care
- Levamisole, intended for veterinary use as a dewormer for cattle, pigs, and sheep
- Deworm Ghana, a project aimed at deworming school children in Africa
- Taylor-Robinson DC, Maayan N, Soares-Weiser K, Donegan S, Garner P (2012). "Deworming drugs for soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on nutritional indicators, haemoglobin and school performance". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (7): CD000371. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000371.pub4. PMID 22786473.
- What you should know about internal parasites in cats and dogs from AVMA.org
- Wage war on equine parasites
- Internal parasites in beef and dairy cattle
- Goat parasite control requires more than cattle protocols
- Camelid intestinal parasite control program
- Sheep health and disease
- The Effects of Deworming on School Children in the Developing World