What is a faecal worm egg count?

A faecal worm egg count is a laboratory testing technique that measures the number of worm eggs in a sample of manure to indicate whether horse worming is necessary. Worm eggs or larvae enter the horse’s digestive system through grazing on pasture and are shed via droppings. Faecal worm egg counts should be conducted regularly to ensure the overall health of livestock.  

Why have a faecal worm egg count conducted?

Faecal worm egg counts can be used to:  

•Identify infected horses so that they can be treated before they develop harmful large worm burdens 

•Monitor treatment effectiveness  •Manage grazing and pastures to reduce the risk of worm infection •Investigate weight loss or recurrent colic 

•Investigation of the parasite status of introduced horses 

•Monitor how well current worm control programs are controlling worms throughout the year 

•Identify horses contaminating the pasture with worm eggs which can then infect other animals     

How often should I have faecal worm egg counts performed?

Every 8 - 10 weeks is the suggested testing frequency. Individual circumstances and the existing parasites may alter the frequency. For horses higher at risk of parasites such as young horses, horses that are moved from paddock to paddock, or horses residing together, more frequent monitoring may be recommended.    

What is a Reduction Test?

   If a worm egg count test result indicated that a horse requires treatment, a follow-up test 7-14 days after treatment will show if the treatment was effective at removing adult worms. This is called a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT). Reduction tests are a valuable tool in understanding how well different treatments are working which is essential for designing effective and sustainable worm control programs. These results can be discussed with your local veterinarian.

How do I start?

The first thing should be to give Brenton on 0412 587 734 a call to answer any more questions you may have and discuss what your requirements are. A date will be determined for pickup/postage and testing will be performed.       

How do I get samples to Eggscope?

Samples can be picked up by us, dropped off or posted via a prepaid Australia Post parcel. A veterinary technician will perform the procedure and issue the results.