What are faecal worm egg counts?
Faecal worm egg counts will provide information which will help our SQP's to advise you on an overall horse health plan including worming when necessary. Worm egg counts can help to identify those horses that have a burden and are the heavier shedders of infective larvae on the equestrian pasture.
As a nation of horse owners, we must be aware that over use of worming products is one of the reasons resistance has built up to some of the chemicals used in worming products. Resistance can also occur from other bad practises such as under dosing but the use of faecal worm egg counts on horses will help us combat the resistance built up from incorrect use of wormers when they are not needed.
Some horses harbour quite high parasite numbers while others consistently maintain a low burden. Factors such as age, worming history and stocking densities need to be taken into account. By using faecal worm egg counts we can monitor just how each horse may be susceptible to parasites. Worm egg counts can also be used to determine if resistance to the active ingredients used in the worming products is present.
Once we have a picture of a horse's worming and testing history we can come up with a strategy that best suits your horse with regard to annual worming and pasture management.
Interpreting the results is done by expert SQP's who will point out the limitations and advantages of horse worm egg counts and help you to determine a course of action for equine parasite control.
Factors to be taken into account when understanding the results of worm egg counts are many including such things as : Horse age, previous worming history, stock density, time of year, pregnancy, sampling method, sample density and pasture management.
All these factors need qualified understanding which leads to considered advice for yards and individual owners alike.
Worm egg counts are a vital tool in the armoury of the animal health professional but are just one part of the overall strategy