Deworming advice – fecal tests?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by PiaffeNPassage PiaffeNPassage 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • SeizeTheReins Original Poster SeizeTheReins
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 1

    I used to follow a deworming rotation calendar religiously, but I’ve been hearing a lot about parasite resistance and now I guess even the deworming companies are recommending fecal tests. Is anyone really doing the fecal tests? Does the vet have to do it, or is there a way to do it yourself? Once I get the results, what do I do? Any advice is appreciated!

    Jon Jon
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 17

    My vet recommended going to the fecal test for the horses at our farm that are in a closed herd. She notes that there are worms that are becoming resistant to the current therapies. I have been using this method for 3 years now and my horses are healthy and happy. The cost of the fecal is minimal. For my horses that are going to show grounds and training facilities, I have them on a de worming program.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    I have been using this company for several years now. It’s so great not having to worm my horse unnecessarily, only when she needs it! They are a great company, with great customer service.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I have been doing the fecal tests for two years and love the concept of only worming when necessary. I have 4 horses and two have come back with no shedding, therefore I am only worming two horses. In my area the fecal is minimal cost but a friend uses a small animal vet to do hers and saves a few dollars. I plan to compare my cost with the lab LibbyLou suggested this year.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Good advice about the fecal sample. I have been using my vet for several years now and have it checked spring and fall. Think I will check out the horsemenslab also. I pay about $30 through my vet to have this done. It is well worth it however. Also good manure management is paramount!

    FadingTwilight FadingTwilight
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 18

    Definitely worth it! I did my first fecal this past summer. I knew exactly what he needed vs. just picking a random dewormer (seasonal and rotation based of course). I like the fact that I don’t have to give him additional chemicals if they’re not necessary, and I’m not adding to the resistance problem.


    jmc jmc
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    I also use Horsemen’s Lab and have been pleased with the service, though a little doubtful about the results.

    The return after you send the sample in is very quick, but with the fecal method, if you get a positive result, you have to do a second fecal a couple weeks after deworming – which raises costs for me and profit for the company, giving rise to the possibility of false positives.

    I also wonder about how long a sample is good for before it’ll show no sign of worms/eggs, simply from age (or possibly heat?). My horse usually shows high positive every 3 months, but this last one – in the height of summer – the results were negative. That has made me a little suspicious.

    One of these days, just to allay my concerns, I’m going to do a fecal both with Horsemens Lab, and my vet, from the same sample, so I can compare results.

    I’d love to hear from anyone that might have information about whether (or how fast) mailed fecal samples can degrade, and the experiences of others who are using, or have used, Horsemens Lab.

    Proud Partner of Yankee Allstar,
    Rocky Mountain Gaited Horse

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    I do them!! They cost the same amount as a good wormer, so I would rather spend it on a poop test then put something in my horses body he doesn’t need.
    If I move barns I will worm no matter what for the first half of the season and then test for the next.
    So far I’ve only had to worm my horse twice in 3 years.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    I know fecals are being touted as an awesome way to handle deworming. I agree that there are horses who carry higher loads than others, and we need to stop the constant deworming to prevent resilience and super worms. I don’t personally put much stock in fecal tests, considering the moment the ball of manure hits the ground, it can be contaminated with outside worms. Nothing beats waiting for your horse to poop to grab a fresh sample.

    What I find interesting, and what surprised me, was that my vet mentioned that they are now considering the fact that there could be safe “base loads” of a population of worms that horses have. If the load is light and not causing problems, he said that it might be better to leave it be than deworm it and cause more resilience in that population. This makes me wonder just how awful worms are for horses if they can have base populations living inside of them with no harm done. Tapeworms are obviously bad, but with other worms I find it to be interesting.

    My vet touted this “deworming program” a few years ago that would have cost us like $100+ a year, per horse, to do tons of fecal samples and get advice on deworming. I passed, because the last time I got a fecal done, all they told me to use was ivermectin to get rid of strongyles in a mare that was having some issues. Well duh, I was already going to do that anyways, but they insisted on a fecal test. I didn’t need to pay $25 for them to tell me what I already knew. The last time I had issues with weight after a winter in both horses (pastured together) I dewormed them and they put weight on quickly. Didn’t need to waste $50 on fecal samples to tell me it was a worm problem.

    I can understand doing fecals for the first year you own a horse to get an idea of the load, but other than that I’ve never embraced them. I would have to wait around the barn (I board) to get fresh samples, then drive the samples down to the vet on my own time, pay $50 to cover both horses, then wait for results, pay to deworm them if need be, then repeat if I had to worm them. Or, I could save the gas/time and drive to the tack store, pay about $25-$30 to cover both horses, and deworm them. I usually only deworm before season changes (like summer to fall) or when I’m noticing problems with rubbing their tails or losing some weight. As of now, I have never had big problems with worms.

    My vet may also be pricey compared to others (he’s kind-of the best around here and really the only option I know of). But definitely check out what your options are with your vet too, because it might not be as bad as my experience either.

    PiaffeNPassage PiaffeNPassage
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    Yes, my vet does the fecal tests on my horse. You want to make sure that they give you a NUMBER for the amount of eggs present in the fecal sample. Don’t let them just tell you “there are none” or “there are some”. You NEED a number to base your deworming off of.

    Owned by Imperious 1997 ArabXFriesian Gelding

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