Fecal counts and Deworming
 
 

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Fecal counts and Deworming

This is a discussion on Fecal counts and Deworming within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Fecal egg count equine when to deworm
  • Deworming horses do all worms show up in fecal exam

 
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    01-16-2009, 02:51 AM
  #1
Weanling
Fecal counts and Deworming

I do not know why but I have been thinking about this these last few days for some reason. I will try to make it brief as to why I am wondering about this.

My mini stallion has previously had ulcers and since then we have cleared this problem up and that is what lead me to the vet in the first place. I took him in because no matter what we did he would not gain an ounce of weight. The vet thought he had worms, which he did a fecal count and could not find even a single egg on it. He told me to slack off of my deworming program, which I did not heed his advice on this one, I still continue it as I did because deworming 2x a year seemed like going backwards on keeping up with any worms he may pick up.

I guess my thing is, if he has no eggs in his fecal egg count, are all of my horses the same way or will some of them still possibly have egg counts but probably low ones? I know if I was really curious I could have fecals done on each horse since I think they were like 8 dollars each, but it just has me thinking about it for some reason.

None of my 6 horses show any signs of worms nor do I think anyone has any sort of infestation or anything, It just has me thinking here lately about it for some reason.

Any input?
     
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    01-16-2009, 09:30 AM
  #2
Started
The other horses could have a small infestation going on - won't hurt to check it out. Also, some worms don't show up in fecals, such as the encycsted small strongyle, neck thread worms and tapeworms sometimes don't show.

A fecal test identifies worm eggs. Not all worms pass eggs at all times. So your horse could still have a parasite problem that will not be picked up by this test. The fecal test requires certain collection, storage and shipping conditions that can affect the results if degradation occurs. The test isn't perfect, but when used strategically over a period of time, it can provide useful information.

I would just run them every few months, after deworming to see if you're killing anything.
     
    01-16-2009, 01:10 PM
  #3
Yearling
My Beau is right, a negative fecal doesn't mean that your horse doesn't have parasites--it just means that your horse didn't have ova in the small sample that was tested. There could have been lots of ova spread throughout the rest of his feces that day or he could have parasites that don't show up in fecals. And he could also be one of those horses who has a really good immunity to GI parasites. 20% of horses carry 80% of the parasite load.

However, assessing your risk factors will help you and your vet determine how likely it is that he isn't picking up lots of parasites from his surroundings. And this paired with fecal testing can help you decide how often you really NEED to deworm your horses. This is important to do because the parasites are developing resistance to the drugs we use and slowing this development requires that we expose the parasites to these drugs only as often as necessary and that we dose at appropriate levels. There are lots of horses that only require deworming twice a year due to how they are kept and their own individual immunity but then there are others that require frequent deworming due to how they are kept and their own individual immunity, so really assessing your situation and your horses individually is important.

Here are some questions to help you and your vet determine the risk of re-exposure and re-infection for your horse’s particular situation.

1. How old is your horse?
2. Is she turned out or stalled?
3. If turned out is it a dry lot or pasture? How much acreage?
4. Do you pick up feces out of the turnout every 2-3 days?
5. Are other horses in the pasture too? If so do they get dewormed regularly? What are their ages?
6. Do you have extreme weather---summers over 100 degrees for extended periods or winters below 40 degrees for extended periods?
http://www.thehorse.com/Parasites/Parasites1204.pdf
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=7317#parasites

     

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