What is a worm egg count?
Worm egg counts are a very important part to your horse, donkey, mule and pony's health care routine.
A worm egg count looks at a sample of your pony's poo under a microscope to see if there are any Strongyle (small and large redworm) and/or Ascarid (round worm) eggs. This will allow us to determine if your animal needs worming depending on how many eggs per gram there is in the poo.
Each of our poo kits will allow us to tell you the infection level of adult egg laying worms and
depending on the infection level we will be able to determine if your animal will require a wormer and advise you on the best product.
For a healthy adult equidae, we recommend you do a worm egg count every 2/3 months throughout the grazing season which is from spring to late autumn/early winter.
We generally don't worm egg count throughout the winter months. This is because one of the main parasites we are looking to detect, the small red worm, usually lay dormant during this time.
Why can't I just worm without doing a worm egg count?
Worming your equidae when they do not need worming could eventually build up a resistance to wormers making it very difficult to control any worm burden in the future. It's much safer to check your animal's worm count before potentially giving medication that is not needed.
It can also save you money!
What worm eggs will we see from a worm egg count?
Worm egg counts commonly show small and large redworm eggs that have been laid by active adult worms.
Worm eggs counts will not detect encysted (hibernating) small redworm, however these can now be tested with a blood sample.
Roundworm is usually only a problem in foals and previously neglected horses.
A worm egg count is not a reliable way of determining if your pony has a tapeworm burden due to the sporadic way in which tapeworms release their eggs at intermittent times, so there is only a small chance of finding them in a faecal sample. We would recommend testing with a saliva test in Spring and Autumn.
Bot fly larvae are not worms but should be treated once a year during the winter.