Are all swine deworming products made equal?

As we roll into county fair and exhibition time in Michigan, youth exhibitors should deworm their animals using the best options available.

We are mid-summer in Michigan and with that comes the start of county fair and exhibition season. Youth have been working extremely hard preparing their swine projects for the county fair and it is important that they present the best project possible. This means that their project should receive proper health care, which includes deworming the animals. 

Ideally, pigs should be kept on a deworming schedule throughout the growing season, where they are given deworming medications once every 30 days, rotating products when possible. This will allow for your animal to remain free of parasites and have an optimal growth rate.  If this practice has not been followed, it is important to make sure that the pigs are dewormed before they go to the county fair. Remember! You and your animal are on display and the county fair may be the only time that some people actually interact with animals and experience livestock agriculture. As stewards of agriculture, it is the job of the youth exhibitor to have healthy, clean animals on display.

When deworming your animal, there are a number of products available to use and most of these can be found at your local feed store or agriculture supply store. Deworming medication can be given via injection, orally (in the feed or water) and topically, although topical wormers are not very effective on swine, because they do not have enough hair follicles for absorption of the medication. It is important to evaluate each of these products to make sure you are using the best possible method for deworming your pigs. Below is a summary of some of the deworming products commonly found in feed supply stores and agriculture supply stores.

Safe-Guard (Fenbendazole)

  • Is an orally fed product, which comes as a pellet when labeled for swine.
  • Controls lung worms, stomach worms, nodular worms, round worms, and kidney worms.
  • Safe-Guard pellets are meant to be top-dressed or mixed into swine feed and fed for a period of 3-12 days, depending on the rate at which it is mixed.
  • There is no withdrawal time for the safe-guard product and it can be fed up to slaughter.
  • Please note, Safe-Guard does not address external parasite issues (lice or mange).

Ivomec (Ivermectin)

  • Can be found as an injectable, oral (premix) or topical product at most stores.
  • Controls gastrointestinal (large roundworm, red stomach worm, nodular worm, thread worm) worms, lung worms, lice and mange mites in swine.
  • Ivermectin injectable should be injected subcutaneous under the skin, in the neck of the animal.
  • Withdrawal time is 18 days pre-slaughter for injected product or 7 days for the oral product.

Noromectin (Ivermectin)

  • This product is the same as ivermectin, the label name is different.
  • All of the above information for ivermectin applies.
  • Withdrawal time is 7 days for the product when given in feed.

Dectomax (Doramectin)

  • Is an injectable product labeled for swine.
  • Controls round worms, lung worm, kidney worm, lice and mange mites.
  • Dectomax should be injected intramuscularly, in the neck of the animals.
  • Withdrawal time is 24 days pre-slaughter

Wazine (Piperazine)

  • This product is given orally and mixed with the animals drinking water.
  • Controls round and nodular worms.
  • Withdrawal time is 21 days pre-slaughter.

Common parasitic infections that are seen in exhibition or county fair pigs are round worms, lice and mange. To address these types of infections Michigan State University Extension Educator Dave Thompson suggests; “even though all of the listed deworming products will address round worms, Safe-Guard is typically the gold-standard for control of round worms, rotating this product with a product from the mectin family (Ivomec or Dextomax) will give you a broad spectrum of coverage”. Treatments with products from the mecrin family should happen about a month prior to the final exhibition or marketing so that withdrawal times are followed, you can then follow up a week or so before fair with the Safe-Guard product, which does not require a withdrawal time.

As you can see, there are a number of different deworming products that the youth exhibitor can utilize to help keep their animals as healthy as possible and parasite free. It is important to choose a product that covers a number of different parasites, especially those that are common in your state or area. Although it is good practice for all swine owners, if you house your animals outside, it is important to choose a product that can address lice and mange infections. If possible, keep your animals on a deworming schedule and rotate your deworming medications so that you have the best efficacy and coverage of all internal and external parasites.

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