Case History

Brandy the Pony's Perplexing Condition Reversed with a Natural Dewormer

By Sarah Cousins

Brandy, March 1, 2006, with excessive coat, poor condition

Thirteen years ago, Brandy - our 'loan pony' - a then 15-year-old all rounder, regularly competed in eventing, show jumping and dressage with his owner Scott Saunders. The 14.2hh chestnut gelding and Scott were selected for their Pony Club Area Teams and were also successful at the Pony Club National Championships. Scott, now a farrier and based near Basingstoke, had great fun on Brandy, especially when they competed in the Pony Club Area Championships for PoloCross.

When Scott moved onto horses, Brandy entered semi-retirement and was loaned to Pony Club families so that their children could benefit from this wonderful schoolmaster. Unfortunately when Brandy was meant to be enjoying his golden years, he started to severely lose weight and condition. Brandy’s general well being deteriorated especially during the winter months and even though he put on weight in the summer, it was not enough to help him look good throughout the colder part of the year. He was chemically dewormed regularly.

We suspected that Brandy was showing signs of Cushing’s disease, although this was never confirmed. Scott became increasingly worried at the prospect of Brandy surviving the winter, but although he entered the winter months very thin and poor he seemed to always pull through to the spring.

As Brandy grew older, more and more children were reaping the benefits of this super pony, and although he looked in poor condition, he was always willing to please when he had children on his back. However, no matter how well rugged up Brandy was, and no matter how much feed he was given, the pony would still not put on weight, improve in condition or get rid of his ghastly, thick curly coat. Courses of vitamin injections and chemical worming programmes had all been used with no luck.

After recommendations from our friend, we decided to try a natural parasite control, Verm-X for Horses, which we were told had really helped another old pony.

Within three months of using it and following the recommended guidelines, Brandy looks like a different pony. Brandy gained a considerable amount of weight, became brighter in himself, and generally his whole well being improved. He lost his curly thick coat and now has a healthy looking summer coat, with a great shine.

Brandy, June 1, 2006, after Verm-X. Brandy showed dramatic improvement in his overall condition in 3 months. He had not looked this well in 5 years. We have used Verm-X on other horses and ponies here (we have 50 or so) who have experienced dramatic changes in their condition too, irrespective of the time of year.

Could a natural dewormer have been responsible for such a difference? Brandy's dramatic and lasting improvements have convinced us that Verm-X not only provided him with a natural and horse-friendly means of controlling internal parasites, but we believe it has acted as a gentle and effective blood cleanser, providing Brandy with a detox programme he was desperately requiring. Brandy, at the age of 28, forever a gentleman, is even happier now to build children’s confidence and look after his riders!Hoofprint


Natural Horse, curious about this natural dewormer, contacted Philip Ghazala, manufacturer of Verm-X, the only company in the world whose sole focus is on natural parasite control in animals. Verm-X was initially launched for horses in 2002.

NHM: Is Brandy's case a unique one, or do you see these results consistently?

Philip: This is not unique – many Verm-X users say their older horses/ponies look fabulous after using it – we do include a blood cleanser and gut maintenance herbs in all our formulations.

NHM: What is your background, and what motivated you to look into making a natural dewormer for animals?

Philip: Since 1986 I have worked in the equestrian consumable market with principally feed supplements for performance horses.  During that time I was increasingly aware of negative publicity surrounding the usage of chemicals with horses, in particular with dewormers. Working on the premise that chemical products are a modern man-made invention I set myself the challenge of finding a natural formulation of herbs that must have been effective prior to the availability of chemicals.  This we achieved, and in 2002 the first of the Verm-X natural parasite control products was launched.

NHM: Do horses need dewormers?

Philip: Scientific literature suggests that all horses, and therefore probably other species, have some level of internal parasite presence. This does not necessarily indicate that the burden may be high enough to be a health risk, but it does show that many do have a need for worm treatment or control.

NHM: What are some of the beneficial ingredients in your equine dewormer and how are they of benefit?

Philip: Our products in the Verm-X range have been formulated by some of the most prominent herbalists in Europe. The principle formulation contains 11 different herbs at varying levels, the herbs chosen for effectiveness against internal parasites, for example Thymus vulgaris and Cinnamomum zelandicum are included; also we include other herbs for blood cleansing and aiding the digestive system.

NHM: How do those herbs and other ingredients work?

Philip: Being an herbal formulation, Verm-X does not have the purging effect of chemical applications. To maximise the effect of Verm-X powder, it is used over a period of 5 days, repeated every 3 months. This enables the herbs to address all internal parasites, expelling, killing and repelling, but in a more gentle and safe action.

NHM: What has been found to be problematic with the chemical dewormers and deworming methods?

Philip: Whilst we have not done our own research on chemical dewormers, there is a train of thought that worms in horses in particular have become resistant to some of the chemicals used, therefore making them less effective, along with reports of some adverse reactions possibly caused by chemical dewormers.

NHM: Are there any cautions or contraindications when using herbal/natural dewormers in general?

Philip: We constantly monitor the usage of herbal formulations, in particular our own, and we have not found there to be any contra-indications to date when using Verm-X. On the contrary we do get regular calls from clients saying their animals look well after using it. We having a growing client list that uses Verm-X for their older horses that may be affected by chemicals, and they have no negative reactions to Verm-X.

NHM: Are your herbs sustainably or organically grown? What can you tell us about the quality of the herbs that go into your dewormers?

Philip: We only use licensed blending practices for our formulations using the latest crop of certified organic herbs which are powdered just before packing to maintain their freshness and their medicinal qualities. The quality of our ingredients is paramount to us. In 2004 we were recognised by a British Government Award scheme for our environmental practices and more recently we have been recognised by the Organic Farm status here in the UK, which means we are the only dewormer allowed on organic farms. This is a very strict ruling here.

NHM: What other animals can benefit from Verm-X?

Philip: Following the launch of Verm-X powder for horses, client requests have led us to, over the past 4 years, develop products for cats and dogs (in treat form or liquid) and a liquid for poultry. Additionally we now have a monthly-used liquid for horses.

NHM: How else are you and your company meeting the needs of your customers and their horses/animals?

Philip: To continue the benefit of natural deworming we are now working with some large producers of feeds and feed blocks where they will use suitable Verm-X formulations as the active ingredient in their products. This has already led to the launch of worming licks for cattle, sheep and goats and another company have produced a treat for rabbits all containing Verm-X.

We have a programme for supporting charity based animal centres and sanctuaries – we offer them opportunities to save money when deworming their animals and we also have a programme where we promote their work.Hoofprint


For more information:
Verm-X Head Office UK
Philip Ghazala
Paddocks Farm Partnership
Phone: + 44 (0) 870 850 2313
Currently seeking US distributors

US Stockist: 
American Natural Horse Products Ltd.
Phone: 714 335 0191