faecal egg count - I was surprised and shocked

suestowford

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Have just done my first egg count and I was shocked by the result. I have two ponies living together. Both are wormed at the same time. The droppings are picked up every day without fail. The pasture is rested regularly. The ponies are the same age (within five days of each other) and are subject to the same management in every way. So how come one of them had a count of 50, and the other had a count of 2150? Anyone got any suggestions as to why this is? The lady from the lab was stumped too!
I have wormed the wormy one on her advice and will retest in about three weeks. I know the wormy one had the full dose last time because I have been using an Easy wormer bit-thingy to make sure all the paste goes in the pony. You can imagine how surprised I was at this result, especially as the wormy one looked in the best of health. It was definitely worth doing the count test, as I would never have suspected he was so infested otherwise.
 

Irishcobs

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I'm not sure, but where I used to work they had 2 gelding, 3 mares and a stallion. The geldings and stallion go in the same field (at different times), the mares have their own field. 2 mares had low counts, 1 have a very high count. 1 gelding was medium count and the other high, and the stallion was low but the only one with tape eggs, and they have to be very high for them to show up!
The only thing I can think of is were they graze in the field, the very high mare and the high gelding both eat the rougher grass near the poos.
 

Louby

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We do worm counts too, small yard and always find one horse carries the worm burden. That one gets wormed as the others always come back nil count. Next time we worm count, a different horse seems to have a high worm count with the rest nil. Vet says its normal for this to happen.
 

Gillb

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Labs do not mix up samples! We take great care to ensure that this does not happen.

A result such as this is very common.
It makes you start looking for answers, usually something in the worming history or management points to the reason, but sometimes it is not obvious.
At least by having the test done you are aware of the problem and able to tackle it with appropriate wormers.
It is often quoted that 20% of horses carry 80% of worms and yet many people continue to worm all in the same way, overworming many and underworming those who need it.
H&H this week has a very good article on worming (except that it does not mention us!) which is well worth reading.
 

vicijp

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Ive started worm counting recently, and with a father stuck in the 1800's it not easy. Generally do everything on the quiet, a pain with 20 horses in work and another 20 roughed off in the fields. I count every new horse and there has been the odd high one (especially my rough ponies) and ive been relieved to discover we have not much of a worm burden (everything <50). Then got my own horse in and he had a <800(bred him/always been wormed regularly) - major panic because hes been out with the youngsters. I figured its because last year I had him at the yard when I was head girl, they had a strict worming programme but ive figured it was no good at all - always went for the cheap option.
 

hussar

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[ QUOTE ]
We do worm counts too, small yard and always find one horse carries the worm burden. That one gets wormed as the others always come back nil count. Next time we worm count, a different horse seems to have a high worm count with the rest nil. Vet says its normal for this to happen.

[/ QUOTE ]

I can confirm that with the seven horses kept in two separate fields at my yard. Nearly all test at <50epg but there's always one - a different one every time - that's medium to high and it bears no relation to their state of health or if they've been off the yard etc.
 

henryhorn

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I think this is normal, and some horses are more susceptible than others.
We were advised the mare we aquired who had redworm damage would always me more likely to have high counts than any of the others.
I think the only sure way is to rest paddocks for part of the year to break the worm cycle, and that just isn't possible for many people.
We do a different system to many people as we don't poo pick at all. (well would you do 40 horse's droppings every day!)
Apart from the stallion fields we try to rest each field some of the year, the hay fields for instance are often not grazed from the end of autumn until the following July, then the other fields get their turn to rest.
We worm the young and very old horses more than the rest, some like the broodmares more still.
Bristol Uni advised us on a programme and we worm for tapeworm early spring, early autumn for bots and again for redworm mid winter.
I would hazard a guess that horse has had a high worm count at some time in his past.
 
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