Fecal Egg Count Service
“20% of horses account for 80% of the parasite eggs shed onto pasture”
Strategic deworming involves the use of fecal egg counts to identify low, moderate and high parasite egg shedders. The “high shedders” are those horses that are responsible for most of the parasites that are passed onto pasture. These high shedders are then wormed appropriately to control their level of infection, whereas horses with much lower worm burden are given a dewormer at less frequent intervals.
In the past, all horses on a farm were wormed at the same time with a rotational wormer at set intervals. Over the years, it has become obvious that no one program will work for all horses. Despite rotating dewormers, parasite resistance is still increasing. Many horses do not need to be dewormed as frequently as people think as they are low or moderate shedders.
Therefor, a strategic deworming program will ensure you are giving the right type of wormer to the right horse at the right time!
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A STRATEGIC DEWORMING PROTOCOL
1. Perform a fecal egg count (FEC) on all horses on the property that are over 3yo. Young horses are still developing immunity to parasites and may change as they get older. They are assigned to the high shedders group as they are more susceptible to the effects of parasites.
2. The intial FEC must be done at the following minimum intervals after deworming :
- After moxidectin : Wait 12 weeks to collect a faecal sample
- After ivermectin : Wait 8 weeks to collect a faecal sample
- After fenbendazole/oxfenbendazole/pyrantel : Wait 6
weeks to collect faecal sample
3. Based on the results of the FEC, Avon Ridge Equine Veterinary Services will develop a deworming protocol tailored to your farm.