Fecal Testing

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Fecal Testing

This is a discussion on Fecal Testing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-05-2010, 10:36 AM
Fecal Testing

Who does eveyone use? I talked to my vet about it and he didnt care if I did a mailer or sent it to him.

I used horseman's lab, they are pretty inexpensive. I got my yearlings count back today. He has 100eggs/gm strongyles. I'm going to call the vet about it at my lunch break. They said in the results up to 200eggs is considered normal, but I'm assuming for a mature horse, not a baby.

Anyone get simmilar results? What did your vet suggest?
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    01-05-2010, 11:03 AM
I havent done any fecal testing yet, but my vet & barn are going to have a meeting to talk about vecal testing & change our deworming program so we only deworm for the parasites that they actually have. My vet looks at the samples at the clinic so they don't have to be sent out.

Sorry I have no good answers for you !
    01-05-2010, 11:06 AM
My vet looks at the sample at the office and does a count. It's not as accurate, but its pretty good depending on the person doing it.
    01-05-2010, 11:52 PM
The "counts" done at a vets office likely aren't as good at actually giving you an acceptable estimation of the parasite load and variance in parasite load in a horse because most vets don't measure the feces and then centrifuge the sample so that you are comparing numbers in a set amount of feces or in a situation where you are most likely to have all of the ova float up and stick to the slide. So, if you are having your local vet run the test ask some questions...how much of a sample do you test? Do you centrifuge the sample? Do you count the whole slide?

If your vet is performing an actual fecal egg count with measurement of sample and centrifugation then it's as good as sending it off to a lab (as long as whoever is reading it knows what they are doing).

A 200 eggs/gm reading is low no matter what the age of the horse. If this is the result in the time of year when you have the most moderate temperatures and 3 months after you last dewormed if you used ivermectin or 4 months after you last dewormed if you used moxidectin then you can consider the likelihood that your horse only needs to be dewormed twice a year with an ivermectin or moxidectin product. But if the situation that your horse is kept in changes then you would want to run another fecal egg count to determine if his egg shedding is higher in the new situation. For example if he's kept in a picked paddock now but is moved into a pasture that has housed lots of horses and hasn't had feces removed then you would want to see how he's handling this new situaition due to his young age.
    01-06-2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks. Not sure the process horseman's lab uses. I had about two-three teaspoons from different places in the pile of manure.

He was wormed in november, right around the first frost, with equimax. The pasture isnt picked at all. I do clean the shelter out when I can. I don't plan to move him anytime soon, and one of the horses is actually leaving (being put down I believe.) Should I have tested the two other horses in the pasture as well? My two are on the same schedule, the other mare hasnt been there long, but I really think she's getting over dewormed.
    01-06-2010, 11:20 AM
Horseman's Lab actually does a fecal egg count, thus the result that is given in eggs/gm.

However, you've pulled it at the wrong time of year and too close to the last deworming to really give you a good idea of what kind of egg shedding your horse normally does. You need to run a fecal egg count after your spring deworming (3 months later if you use ivermectin and 4 months later if you use moxidectin) and use that result to base your deworming program around. If the fecal egg count at that time is still 200 or lower then you would go with minimal deworming. But with it being 100 in the WINTER less than 2 full months after you used ivermectin and at his age, he is likely to not have much of a resistance to the parasites and therefore in need of deworming 3-4 times a year. When he's older then you may be able to get away from deworming as often because he's still in that stage where he is going to be developing his resistance.

Winter is the time when you have your lowest reinfection rates because the temperatures aren't conducive to strongyle larva maturing into the infective stage in the pastures/paddocks and also because horses tend to be eating hay rather than grazing and living in stalls where feces are removed daily. The summer months are when you have your high reinfection rates because environmental conditions are right for strongyle larva to mature to the infective stage and to remain viable on pastures.

Contrary to the old idea that all horses in a pasture should be on the same deworming program, it's now known that 50% of adult horses will control parasite infections on their own with minimal deworming (twice a year). So, it's best to test all horses to see what kind of parasite egg shedding they do and then put them on an appropriate deworming program based upon how many eggs they shed. They don't all need to be dewormed at the same time unless they all have the same resistance to parasites.
    03-22-2011, 11:57 AM
Hi Ryle - I just came across this product... looks like a way to do your own fecal test. I checked out their web site. It looks pretty simple to do. What do you think?
Eggzamin - On-site Fecal Egg Count Kit (FEC)
    03-22-2011, 12:14 PM
My vet does it quarterly, then recommends what we use based on the count. The last 2 years I have only ended up giving wormer in the late fall, to get rid of what doesn't show up in the counts.

I have found it amazing that horses in the same pasture vary SO much. The one eating the poo is negative, while the other is loaded. Makes no sense at all, but that has been happening regularly.
    03-22-2011, 01:04 PM
I do fecal counts all the time.....I bought a the Paramount-EPG a Veterinary Quantitative Fecal Analysis Kit.....you can get them form Chalex Corporation at www.vetslides.com bought a second hand microscope for a 100.00 and get the saline solution from my vet.

The cost per fecal is pennies and it allows me to run fecals weekly (so I can catch any shedding) from fresh manure about one month out from my worming date to see how my worming program is working. I have gone from worming 4 times a year to twice.

They are quick and simple to do.

Super Nova
    03-22-2011, 03:26 PM
I have an Eggzamin kit and love how simple it is to do my own fecal tests. It is surprising how few times I’ve needed to treat for strongyles (scary to think about what I’ve been doing in the past). The hardest part for me (at first) was making heads or tails out of what I was looking at!! Because the microscope connects to the computer I got help online from the company to understand what I was seeing. Now it's soooo easy... and free. Of course now my friends want me to test for them. LOL

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