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File:Sheep drenching.JPG
Drenching Merino hoggets, Walcha, NSW

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.


In humans

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 2 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,[1] 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.[2]

A number of prominent health organizations and experts have promoted the deworming of children in the developing world as a potentially effective public health and development strategy. In low and middle-income countries where deworming policies have been adopted, it has generally proven to be a highly effective and economically efficient public health intervention. Because of its proven effectiveness and the relatively low cost of intervention, deworming has attracted the attention of public health officials, development experts, and others concerned with global health.[3] Research completed by Michael Kremer and Edward Miguel,[4][1] studied the effect of school-based deworming on educational outcomes, finding that deworming leads to increased school attendance in participating schools and produces community-wide benefits as well.[5]

See also

  • Anthelmintic
  • Parasitism
  • Levamisole, intended for veterinary use as a dewormer for cattle, pigs, and sheep


  1. http://www.dewormtheworld.org/learn_02.html
  2. http://www.dewormtheworld.org/learn_01.html
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/opinion/24kristof.html?_r=1
  4. Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities Edward Miguel and Michael Kremer Econometrica, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 159-217 (article consists of 59 pages) http://www.jstor.org/pss/3598853
  5. http://poverty-action.org/node/2302

External links


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