Tape & Gape Worms - How worse can it get?

RaeJean

In the Brooder
Nov 22, 2015
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I have tapeworms that I have confirmed and I believe I also have gapeworms. I have lost three hens who were just over a year old. They were exhibiting mouth opening, neck stretching, and shaking their heads. I am trying to find a wormer that will take care of both worms and was wondering if Valbazen would do the trick? Dealing with worms has given me a greater appreciation for the patience it takes to raise a healthy flock. I am dreading having to catch 11 hens to give medicine to for 3-5 days! I wish there was an easier way to treat a flock. I know Valbazen will treat for tape worms, just not sure about gapes. If Valbazen won't treat gapes, can I use Safeguard at the same time as the Valbazen and just treat them with both or is that too much medication at one time?
 

Eggcessive

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If you got some droppings checked for tapeworms, it should also have shown the gapeworm larvae as far as I know. Respiratory diseases can also cause the gaping, head shaking, and neck stretching. Did you get a fecal test done by a vet?

Praziquantel which is found in Equimax horse paste, is your best best for treatment of tapeworms. For gapeworms, SafeGuard is good, given for 5 consecutive days. Do you have any pictures of the droppings that may show the tapeworm segments?

I am going to tag @casportpony and @dawg53 for more help for your answers.
 

pibb

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Dec 12, 2018
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The only wormer that I show is Valbazen (albendazole) that will treat tapeworms and gapeworms at the same time without having to buy two different wormers.

18 mg per lb for 3 consecutive days. Withhold feed for 24 hours before worming. Retreat in 2 weeks. With Valbazen 11.36% that is 0.16 ml of medicine per lb of bodyweight.

Just wait until they go to roost and grab them up one at a time and give them their medicine.
 

Eggcessive

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I realize that Valbazen can treat them both. But isn’t SafeGuard 5 days in a row better for gapes, and Praziquantel (in the Equimax) once and again in 10-14 days better for tapeworms? And has the OP had both confirmed in a fecal test?
 

dawg53

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Valbazen will treat tapeworms. However my experience dealing frequently with tapeworms over the years is that it requires a longer feed withholding period (24 hours) and increased dosages over several days, then repeating again. In other words, I believe valbazen is losing its efficacy against poultry tapeworms. It hasnt lost its effectiveness against other types of poultry worms.
Equimax would be the best choice to treat tapeworms, then zimecterin gold as second choice.
Both of these equine pastes contain praziquantel which will get rid of tapeworms. At a higher dose, the ivermectin should kill gapeworms. In this instance, zimecterin gold might be best if in fact gapeworms are involved. If gapeworms are present, eggs will be detected in feces and I recommend a fecal sample be tested by a vet.
 

RaeJean

In the Brooder
Nov 22, 2015
26
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I am very familiar with what tapeworms look like as I have dealt with them for years with other flocks so I did not get a fecal test confirmation. I ruled out respiratory issues because I have not found any nasal discharge, issues with their eyes, etc. I've tried looking down their throats but can't see that far down and I am hesitant to stick a swab down there. I do appreciate all the wisdom offered! Dawgs, if you were treating both infections, would you recommend starting with zimecterin gold? If so, what is a safe dosage for a 2-3 lb hen? How many days do I treat for? Should I retreat a second time? When? I assume dump the eggs for 10-14 days after last treatment. I will withhold food for 24 hours before administering. If I am wrong about the gapes, no harm since I need to treat for the tapes.
 

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