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Diatomaceous earth (DE) is composed of the fractured shells of microscopic, fossilized sea creatures. Basically, it is equivalent to tiny pieces of broken glass. Harmless to all mammals, it is lethal to insects, parasites and may even provide some control for bacteria and viruses.
Adding food grade DE to your horse's feed can provide a number of health benefits. One major benefit is in the control of internal parasites. DE is a highly effective organic wormer, and can be used alone or as part of your regular deworming routine. As it passes unabsorbed through the digestive tract, the sharp edges kill internal parasites.
You simply mix a small amount with the horse's daily feed. It can also be dusted lightly over hay or mineral blocks and supplements. The recommended amount depends on how much you are feeding, but it is generally a small percentage of the overall daily feed. By adding DE for horses that have a parasite problem, you can clear up worms and other internal parasites in about a month. However, once the parasites are gone there is no reason to stop adding DE. Not only will it help control re-infestation, the same daily amount is also recommended as a regular dietary supplement. In addition to controlling parasites, diatomaceous earth helps improve joint health by reducing arthritic inflammation, promotes overall digestive health and may help your horse have a fuller, shinier coat.
One very important note: Be sure to use food grade DE. The DE sold as pool filtering material, for example, has been heat processed and is toxic.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|