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Looking After Your Worm Egg Counts: an essential part of your horse worming programme

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Worm Egg Counts: an essential part of your horse worming programme

Worm egg counts are an essential part of any worming programme for horses. With evidence coming to light that some types of worms are now showing resistance to particular wormers, i.e. the wormers don’t work, it’s really important to find out if any worms are actually present before treating your horse as the overuse or incorrect timings of worming treatments can in fact make this problem worse.

So what is a worm egg count? A worm egg count is when you send a sample of your horses dung to the laboratory in a specially designed sample pot, which we can provide.  When this pot reaches the laboratory it’s analysed using a microscope and the number and type of worm eggs are recorded. This test will give us a clear indication of what type of worms are present and if the level is sufficient to require worming treatment to be administered.  

The Doolittle’s Dispensary horse health care plan (scroll down) offers worm egg counts as standard as this helps to maximize the effectiveness of any treatment. Owners will be instructed to take three worm egg count samples over spring and summer and they will then be informed of the results and which, if any, worming treatments are needed. 

However, not all worms will shed eggs.  Pinworms, bots and tapeworm infestations cannot be identified by worm egg counts. To protect your horse from these worms we offer targeted worming treatments, which are to be administered at key points in the year. These treatments are included in the horse health care plan (scroll down), along with the worm egg counts.

To help prevent worm infestations it’s also paramount that you undertake good pasture management, removing dung from your horse’s field at least twice a week.  Reducing overcrowding will also help to reduce the likelihood of heavy worm burdens.