What is a worm count? (fecal egg count)
A worm count is a useful tool to find out whats going on inside your horse with those pesky worms.
worm counts use a small sample of your horses poo to check for the presence of roundworm and redworm eggs. the poo samples are prepared using the modified mcmaster method*, then they are then counted using a special chambered slide under the microscope and the result is calculated to give an "eggs per gram" reading, which is used to determine the horses parasite burden. the horse can then be wormed or not wormed according to the result achieved.
by using these worm counts throughout the year, it is easy to monitor a horses parasite burden and only treat where it is actually needed, as opposed to using chemicals every 12 weeks.
Which worms are covered?
our worm count test detects the presence of adult egg laying small and large redworm, and roundworm. The test cannot detect the encysted stage of small redworm, so a suitable dose of chemical wormer is needed in the winter months to cover this (The clever boffins at Equisal have released a blood test that can detect this- contact your vet for details!)
It also does not detect tapeworm (although occasionally a tapeworm egg may be seen in the count) and we recommend using the equisal saliva test to detect tapeworm in spring and/or autumn. These test kits are stocked in our online shop.
Another parasitic threat to horses is pinworm, this is not a true intestinal parasite but can be irritating to your horse and cause hairloss from the scratching. our sellotape based pinworm test can detect these pesky parasites and allow you to treat accordingly.
We can also test for lungworm using a different type of test which allows these free floating larvae to be detected under the microscope (Baermann technique + sedimentation). This is recommended for donkeys.