Find information here about our horse Faecal Egg Count (FEC) service, also known as worm egg count service, for more effective horse worming programmes. We are based in Gristhorpe, just outside Filey 


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 Horse Faecal Egg counts are becoming increasingly important.  

Horse Faecal Egg Counts (FEC), are a way of managing animal care by giving a better overall view of how effective your horse worming programme is.

 There is growing concern in the veterinary community over resistance to worming agents. A Faecal Egg Count is a method by which, over several samples, an owner can see if the wormer used is being effective. There should be at least an 85% drop in eggs in the samples if the worming agent is effective.

 It will tell you for certain if your horse has worms present in its faeces, and will give an indication of the worming strategy necessary, dependant on worm eggs per gram. Allowing you to provide the best care for your animal.

Anyone can set up a faecal egg count lab, they do not need to be qualified, regulated and there is no quality control over worming advice and sample preparation. At Meadow View Animal care this is not the case. I process all faecal egg counts personally to ensure the work is of a high standard. I worked in a microbiology laboratory for thirteen years and as a qualified biomedical scientist, I have the knowledge and experience to provide a quality and reliable service. 

 

  What is a Faecal Egg Count (FEC)?

 A faecal egg count is a method by which the number of internal parasite eggs can be determined in a given faeces sample. This information can then be used to determine if parasite treatment is required.

 If an animal has intestinal parasites, the eggs of these parasites are passed through the animal's dung. If the animal has parasite eggs present in its faeces, it means that the animal has the adult worms living inside them.

 FEC is a useful tool to monitor the parasite burden in an animal, or a group of animals.


 

How to take a Horse Faecal Egg Count sample 

The best sample is a very fresh sample, the sooner the sample is sent, the better. You can keep it in the fridge for a day or so, but ideally, as soon as the sample is in the pot, it needs to be sent back to us, at Meadow View Animal Care, so that we can process it. If the sample is exposed to air for too long, the eggs begin to hatch and this affects the egg count in the sample. As we only look for Oocytes (eggs) and not the worms themselves.

Ideally, place your horse in a pen for ten to fifteen minutes until it defecates and you can be sure that the sample is as fresh as possible. Using the gloves provided in the Easy Care Kit, fill the sample pot provided up to the top to ensure as little air as possible is present in the container. Attach the lid firmly and write your name, the date, and the name of the horse on the label. Place in the sealable bag. Fill in the client details form, also in the kit and place this, with the sample into the pre paid envelope and pop back in the post. 

 Our aim is to send you the result of the count the next day, please do contact us if you haven't heard within a couple of days to ensure your sample has arrived in our lab. You can choose to receive your results by email (our preferred method) text or post.

What Happens in the Lab.? 

 Once we receive the sample we take a measured amount, add it to a measured amount of flotation solution and homoginize it, allowing the eggs to float to the surface. We measure it carefully to give an accurate 'eggs to gram' ratio in the final count. The dung and solution are then carefully strained to remove as much debris as possible. The solution is then drawn off with a pipette and placed in a specialist counting chamber. We repeat the process twice to give a more accurate count, this figure is then worked out as 'eggs per gram' which is the result we then send out to our clients.

 What Does the Result Tell You?

 The Faecal Egg Count gives a guide to the parasite burden in the animal. It is not meant to replace veterinary advice, but acts as a tool to help with appropriate worming times.

  

Egg Count Tips

 

  •   Egg counts are most useful when the worms are active, between spring and autumn
  • The egg count will not pick up tapeworm, horses should be treated for tapeworm in autumn and spring
  • All horses in the same yard/grazing area should be treated at the same time, with the same product to ensure effective decontamination
  • Keep a record of when you worm, and the counts. We will automatically keep this record for you, and will send you the updated record at each count.
IF YOUR HORSE LOSES CONDITION, IS UNWELL OR YOU ARE CONCERNED, CONSULT YOUR VET


We can offer further discounts for charities and rescues, please email Wendy at MeadowViewAnimalCare@gmail.com and don't be afraid to ask!

 Please pay in the shop.