Frequently Asked Questions
We hope our site has been easy to navigate and that you have found it useful in helping you plan your testing regime. We always appreciate feedback from our customers and are happy to answer any queries that you may have. To save you time in contacting us, we have detailed below some of the questions that we are asked regularly and our responses to them.
Do faecal egg counts detect all worms?
Unfortunately not. They only detect worms that, as part of their lifecycle, lay eggs in the stomach. It is also not possible to detect the non egg laying stages of the worm life cycle.
Our advisors ask for all of the relevant information before making a recommendation, so that either wormers are recommended or subsequent tests are scheduled at intervals to detect emerging adult activity. For further information on these services please click here.
What is a faecal egg count?
A faecal egg count is a test carried out on a sample of dung to detect the number of worm eggs in it.
What are the benefits of doing faecal egg counts?
Faecal egg counts detect whether there are any adult worms laying eggs at that point in time.
Used correctly they are the main method of identifying which horses have worms and why they have them.
Over the past few years faecal egg counts have become more widely used due to increasing public awareness about the fact that wormers are not working as well as they ought to, however the total number of horse owners that are using faecal egg counts is still under 40%.
Faecal egg counts make sure that you do not waste money on ineffective worming.
If your horse has worms it may cost you more in feed and vets bills. Your horse may not perform to their best potential and ultimately worms can prove fatal.
It is therefore baffling that animal owners still see the cost of faecal egg counting as a waste of money.
If you compare it to what you spend annually on farrier bills, then less than £60.00 per year to make sure the wormers that you use are working and that your horse is not sustaining parasites seems a small price to pay.
Are faecal egg counts complicated?
Faecal egg counts are not complicated if you get the correct advice about when to take them, and how to interpret the results, all our services, except our bronze faecal egg counts, offer this advice so that you can incorperate faecal egg counts with ease in to your worming regime.
Are all faecal egg count companies and labs the same?
The simple answer is no. There are numerous laboratories offering testing services, ranging from a person with a microscope in the boot of their car, to University/ Veterinary Laboratories with fully qualified and trained staff using the most accurate methodologies and technologies.
ScientifEQ was set up in partnership with the University of Liverpool and Professor Proudman, and therefore our methodology and technology are the most sensitive available. Our staff are fully trained to carry out the tests to ensure the accuracy of the results.
There can be quite a considerable difference in the results, between the laboratories. If the proper equipment is not used then results will be reported as low or clear when there are in fact eggs in the sample. ScientifEQ regularly report surprising positive results to new customers who always had clear results from other facilities.
If I use faecal egg counts, does that mean I can stop worming?
The advice given by the British Equine Veterinary Association is to worm in response to faecal egg count results, where appropriate.
This means that if you have an adult horse, with no issues, and the egg count result is clear then there is no need to give a wormer for the worms that would have been detected in the test.
However the interpretation of results and recommendations can be different for younger or older horses, horses grazing in a high risk environment or with historic issues.
Your parasite control calendar also needs to take into account the worms and the stages of the life cycle that do not show up in faecal egg counts. This would include tapeworm, pinworm, bots and the encysted stage of the small redworm lifecycle.
We offer a range of additional services to take into account all of the above factors and keep your worming programme efficient, manageable and cost effective.
These services ensure that you do not waste money on either ineffective worming or faecal egg counts that may not be necessary.
If you would like to find out how we can help you please click here.