How to read fecal egg count results

Doing regular fecal egg counts will give you data that can help you and your veterinarian design the best deworming program for your horse.

The sample invoice below illustrates how Horsemen’s Laboratory reports the results of the fecal egg count tests it conducts for clients.


The sample invoice below illustrates how Horsemen’s Laboratory reports the results of the fecal egg count tests it conducts for clients.

“We price by the kit—which is used for a single test—not the horse,” says owner Ivy Lewis. “So, whether you have one horse at home or run a large boarding stable, you can have the same access to our expertise.” A single kit is $26. Two and five kits are $23 each, and six or more kits ordered at one time cost $21 each. “We include everything in our pricing,” says Lewis, “including shipping with prepaid envelopes and tracking. You just fill the container with manure, label it with the horse’s name, snap the lid closed and mail it back. When we get results, we send it as part of the invoice.” After a horse is dewormed based on the test results, the owner can send another sample two weeks later to ensure the treatment was effective. 

Logistics of fecal egg count testing

Testing on properties with a large number of horses can be a little more challenging, particularly when that requires coordinating with several different owners. But Lewis says it’s possible. “In some cases, the barn owner orders the kits and asks the horse owners fill them with manure so they can be returned as a group. The cost is usually just added into the boarding fee. On other farms, it’s the owners taking the initiative. They’ll test their horse then show the barn owner a negative result so they can opt out of any barn-wide deworming. They may not save money, but they don’t want to give their horse unnecessary treatments.” 

On this sample invoice, the donkey tested has a result of 2,000 eggs per gram, making him a candidate for deworming treatment. The horse named “LC” is below the threshold for recommended treatment.

The right testing regimen

Lewis recommends starting by testing each horse every three months. “Our computer system tracks clients and mails email reminders every three months,” she says. “If we don’t get another sample at that point, it sends a follow-up email at six months.” 

If a horse regularly comes up as a low shedder, he doesn’t need to be tested as frequently, says Lewis. “We see it all the time—horses who consistently test negative or as very low shedders. Once you get that data, you can be confident this horse doesn’t need treatment more than once a year.” One-on-one phone consultations with Byrd begin at $30 per year. They are free with a purchase of 10 kits at one time.

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