Our SQP’s (Suitably Qualified Persons) are on hand to help you with your animal health plan using worm egg counts.
Remember that there are certain times of year and certain circumstances when you should treat for a specific parasite burden that is not tested for nor reported in the egg count so you may need to select certain products to address these circumstances as well as those reported by the laboratory. We are more than happy to help in these situations so please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries you may have.
We will send you a kit for collection of a faecal sample along with the instructions and paperwork. The test will be done at the laboratory and we will analyse the results for each horse make recommendations for an effective animal health plan.
The results are measured in EPG or eggs per gram which indicates the actual level of worm eggs found.
When we use the symbol < followed by a number such as <200 EPG this means that the level of worm eggs found is less than 200 per gram.
If the count is less than 200 EPG then it is a Low count and would suggest that your worming measures are working which would then suggest delaying the next treatment.
If the count is between 200 EPG and 1200 EPG it is a Medium count which would mean that that particular horse needs treatment and perhaps the overall strategy needs some attention.
If the count is more than 1200 EPG it is a High count that horse should be treated without haste and the management and worming strategy and planning will need considerable attention.
Please note the following:
Results cannot show encysted stages of redworm potentially the most harmful stage of the redworm parasite. Horses can have burdens in the order of several million encysted larvae yet show a negative or low count (<100 EPG) FWEC (Dowdall et al. 2002, Veterinary Parasitology, 106, 225-42).
Pinworms are not reliably detected in standard egg counts because they don't consistently lay eggs as part of their life-cycle. and bots are not identified in FECs either. --- It is not a definitive test for tapeworm --- Bots will rarely appear in a dung sample. Eggs are not shed at a constant rate and immature parasites don't lay eggs, so a FEC will only ever provide a snapshot of a horse's adult worm burden at that particular time. FECs are useful to identify which horses are shedding high numbers of worms but are not the whole answer.
Usually results will say Stronglye eggs. This is redworm, the most common parasite that affects horses. When you interpret your results a full risk assessment needs to be undertaken and we could never specifically say that NO treatment is necessary as there are many factors to be considered. There are occasions when the results are less than accurate due to variations with regard to sample taking, seasonal timing and the actual larvicidal cycle. The age of the animals can also affect the result. Older animals tend to have greater resistance to internal parasites, so the correlation between number of parasites and worm egg count is not always as clear as with younger animals
We can supply your next testing kit and help you to interpret the results and act accordingly.