How to do fecal worm counts? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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How to do fecal worm counts?

I know checking counts is the way to go now. I got a microscope for Christmas!! Now just need to know how to do this? Anyone have good instructions, video ?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 03:21 PM
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Do you have McMaster slides? You"ll. Need those and pipettes, graduated cylinders and a kitchen scale. Unless you have access to a centrifuge. Centrifuge makes for more accurate sampling.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 03:22 PM
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You"ll. Also need to make a flotation solution. I prefer a salt solution using Epsom salts but a sugar solution works too.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 08:07 PM
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Do get the McMaster slides. I got mine from Chalex Corp. They are chambered with a grid printed on them, so you can fill the chambers with solution. When you view the slides at 100x under the microscope (hopefully it has a moveable stage), the grid makes it easy to count worm eggs.



Making a saturated solution is easy, it just involves dissolving enough epsom salts to the point where the water won't hold any more. Google saturated solution of magnesium sulfate to get the actual ratio.



Next, Google McMaster Method to learn how to actually use the slides. You will swish a couple of grams of manure around in a certain amount of solution, then pipe a little bit up and fill the slide chambers. Then you will place the slide on the microscope stage and move the stage (or the slide) up and down while counting eggs within the grids. Then there is some minor arithmetic to translate your egg count into eggs per gram.


Your next Google "horse parasite eggs" is to identify what you are seeing in the microscope. The most prevalent eggs you will see will likely be strongyle eggs. You won't know whether large or small. Cocci oocysts don't usually show up in horse manure, but they're pretty identifiable. There are lots of sites that will help you distinguish eggs from other flotsam and air bubbles.


It's kinda fun!
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 09:24 PM
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. . Glad to know I am not the only microscope geek here
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 09:28 PM
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I do fecal egg counts too.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 11:57 PM
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I do, too.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 12:04 AM
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I do too but I do mine a little differently. I go collect the poo, put it in a baggy and take it to my vet. $25 and she tells me what to give for what worms. Easy peasy, no expensive equipment and most important, I DON'T have to play in watery poo.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I do too but I do mine a little differently. I go collect the poo, put it in a baggy and take it to my vet. $25 and she tells me what to give for what worms. Easy peasy, no expensive equipment and most important, I DON'T have to play in watery poo.
I'm with @DreamCatcher in this one, but I am nonetheless fascinated by this thread! I just like to know how things work even though I will likely never be doing my own fecal counts. Still very cool to read about it!
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 10:17 AM
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The thing about doing your own is you can do them at your convenience. Our Windy tends to have these minor colicky bouts. I can do a quick fecal check and if she has worms, I can worm her. But twice she hasn't had worms, and I checked her for ulcers instead and treated her for that.

I can check my horses whenever I might need to, even if it's 4 or 5 times a year. I feel like I have control over their health. I SEE how many worm eggs there are, not just rely on someone else saying, "There's a lot. You better worm them." Or "There's only a few eggs, but keep an eye on them."

Once you've done it a bunch, you get much faster at it. My kind patient local vet did a set with me (I offered to pay and he wouldn't take money) when I started because I didn't have faith in my results. I kept paying to have checked what I thought I was finding. That was a few years ago, and now I feel fairly confident.

Also, it's not that messy or gross. Changing diapers is a hundred times nastier, and mothers all get used to that.
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