Sunday, June 16, 2013

DE: a Review of the Literature

Diatomaceous earth (DE), the skeletal remains of single-cell algae, is often touted as an effective and alternative anthelmintic for sheep, goats, and other livestock. DE is said to kill worms by slashing them with its blade-like surfaces. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support its use.

DE has no effect in the animal.
On the other hand, few studies have been published regarding the anthelmintic effect of DE. Plus, DE has always been evaluated as a substitute for a chemical dewormer.

There is some speculation that DE may inhibit the development of worm larvae (on pasture). If this is true, DE could help to reduce the level of pasture contamination, which in turn, could reduce the number of animals that require treatment with a chemical dewormer.

Additional studies are required to see if DE has any effect on the free living stages of GI parasites: it has no effect on parasites in the animal. The Sustainable Agriculture, Research & Education Program offers farmer-grants that can be used to evaluate alternative dewormers and other sustainable worm control strategies.

In this article, the scientific literature pertaining to DE is reviewed.

DE:  Is it an effective natural anthelmintic for sheep and goats: a review of the scientific literature

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