Westgate lab- why so pricey?

paddy555

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I have not made any allegation against poo post, just a general observation.

They may do just as good a job as Westgate at a fraction of the price, but how would the average punter know?
I don't think that you can be sure of the accuracy of any testing procedure whatever the firm unless you are actually there and have the knowledge to check the results. So you basically have to trust whoever you send your samples to.
 

SilverLinings

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Performing a FEC is easy and quick if you have access to a microscope, so it is unlikely a company would use poor practice or knowingly get results wrong (as opposed to accidentally mixing up samples/results). The only way they could do that is if their staff can't count, or they are just making up a number and not bothering with any test. The tests don't take long so falsifying the results (or not bothering to count carefully) would not be worth the risk of being found out.

The more complicated bit is whether a company has staff with enough appropriate and in-depth education to advise customers on how to proceed once they have the result. But, again, a company would soon be found out if their staff were making errors or spouting rubbish. The 'advice' part is the only bit I could possibly see being responsible for a price difference between companies, but equally one company may just be cheaper than another because they have lower profit margins.

I'm not involved with any testing company, but I used to carry out tests for a vet practice when I was a student. I use my own vet's for my horses' FECs now.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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I'm sticking with Westgate. I have had superb ongoing free advice over the years from them over tricky horses with repeat high counts. I trust them to do a professional job. I am very suspicious of a new company who pops up significantly undercutting a main competitor.

I trust Westgate not to cut corners.

Re the Westgate 4 count kit, which is the one I buy, you don't have to get all the 4 counts done at the same time. You can send them off one at a time if you want to.
me too I am sticking to Westgate
 

GoldenWillow

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I've used Westgate for a number of years and have been very happy both with their service and have had a lot of advice regarding annoying pony that would throw medium/high counts. I buy my tests for the year when they do offers in January which saves a chunk of money. I'm cautious about using a cheaper company as had very slow and poor service from a company when I did ( not poo post I hasten to add).
 

I'm Dun

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I've just signed up for the monthly service with Westgate. I've used various companies over the years, but with just one horse now I dont need to worry so much about costs and its very convenient to not have to think about it.
 

Gamebird

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I appreciate why people would be attracted to the cheaper option, but as a business director I genuinely can't see how a business could, or would want to, do WECs for under £10. That £10 has to cover an awful lot! Slides, solutions, microscope repair and servicing, capital outlay, postage materials, postage costs, all the usual bills for a business (heat, light, water, rates, rent), VAT (I assume), wages, computer systems, staff training, reporting and recording, giving advice to clients, website fees and maintenance, commercial waste disposal... We stopped doing ours in-house as we found that even for the £9.50 that we charged it just wasn't worth it.
 

Melandmary

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Gamebird i totally see that there alot of costs involved in running any business and that it is a pointless task if there is no profit in it. I recieved my samples 1st class next day to ordering and from first impressions i can see that although the pots are much better the rest of the reading materials/packaging is inferior quality but i expect that because i am paying less. And as long as the count is accurate i am not bothered. This is the first year for me of multiple horse ownership so i, as many others have to be are more aware of cost effectiveness but not at the expense of quality of product. I can only assume that companies have to rely on volume when profit margins are low where as well established companies can charge more due to reputation and being market leaders. I know what to expect from my FECs so will await the results.
 
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I don't think that you can be sure of the accuracy of any testing procedure whatever the firm unless you are actually there and have the knowledge to check the results. So you basically have to trust whoever you send your samples to.
Hopefully companies work to standardised protocols and have auditing and compliance procedures so that you can be pretty confident they are doing it rigorously.

I'm a parasitologist, I do my own FECs. I did play with the idea of setting up my own business doing this at one point, although not only for horses. But slogging my guts out for horse owners is best left to young people who dont yet know any better.
 

Fransurrey

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Lol, no i don't. I have used westgate for the last 8 years and never had an issue with their service, always speedy and good advice. It was only because i was asked to order online that i ended up shopping around and found poo post at half the cost. When everything is going up in price i thought i would give them a try but i just wondered how the " same service" was twice the price is all. More accurate equipment.... Or just because....
The equipment is a basic light microscope, McMasters chamber and centrifuge. I do my own (working in a lab has to have SOME perks!). Nothing more fancy than that unless they have automated counters which I doubt (there's always debris in the sample, so it would be nigh on impossible to be accurate).

ETA: no centrifuge required! Sorry, been a while since I did it. :D
 

paddy555

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Westgate are also trying to be responsible with their packaging etc to reduce plastic waste. That can put the price up a bit.
the count kits I had from Westgate during Covid didn't have plastic gloves. They used to send one glove per poo pot.
They said they couldn't get them but they were easily available. I had to buy a packet of gloves to do my tests. Poo post have sent 1 per 4 pots. I don't mind subsidising gloves for the lower cost but paying more I would expect a glove for each count.
I do 8 pots all in a row and I want to avoid contamination by wearing gloves.
 

Melandmary

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Westgate are also trying to be responsible with their packaging etc to reduce plastic waste. That can put the price up a bit.
I noticed too late today that poo post re-use their pots as the leafletsaid not to write on them. Unfortunately i had already marker penned them all with ponios names ready to collect samples so theybdidn't get muddled in my pocket. I will say the lids are much better than westgates as there was no fallouts in my pocket because they properly shut 😂
 

millitiger

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I used Poo Post for the first time recently and very pleased.

I'm sure Westgate are fab too but I'm watching my pennies with multiple horses.

I think anyone insinuating dodgy results based on cost of service is on very shaky ground; an expensive service doesn't guarantee quality either.
 

ycbm

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I used Poo Post for the first time recently and very pleased.

I'm sure Westgate are fab too but I'm watching my pennies with multiple horses.

I think anyone insinuating dodgy results based on cost of service is on very shaky ground; an expensive service doesn't guarantee quality either.

Agree.

I get that people find advice useful but there are only 5 worming drugs and 2 tests available, 2 of those drugs now very old, and one of the tests a simple count. It's not rocket science, vets can also advise and I'd be surprised if any worm count tester will give much different advice from the next one or from your vet.
.
 

NeverSurrender

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Have never used Westgate but used poopost a few times - my new (at the time) pony threw an incredibly high result and the advice I got from them was very helpful - I wouldn't hesitate to use them again
 

MagicMelon

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Ill be ordering from poopost even though Ive usually used Westgate but for this service, you dont need/get anything extra. You literally get the same result so why on earth wouldnt you choose cheaper... Its a bit weird assuming in this day and age you get a better service if you pay more for it (I work for a more budget end of my industry and I know we do a better job generally than the vast majority who charge far more!). Poopost could simply be 1 person doing it and would rather get quantity rather than high profits per sale, Id rather support someone like that than a bigger company personally. I know what the results should be for my 2 horses so I'll wait to see if it tallies.

With regards advice, you have google and you have a forum like this - you can easily get advice if needed. I personally wouldnt normally think to ask the company I got worm counts from, I would normally find the information myself or ask my vet for advice if I wasnt sure.
 
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paddy555

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With regards advice, you have google and you have a forum like this - you can easily get advice if needed. I personally wouldnt normally think to ask the company I got worm counts from, I would normally find the information myself or ask my vet for advice if I wasnt sure.
same here. It seems relatively simple with some basic reading. If I had a high count or a problem or vulnerable/poorly or potentially poorly horse I would be asking the vet. If it is simply a high count and I was worried I would make sure I was worming at 9am on Monday as the call out charges on Monday pm will be a lot less than Sat at midnight. I would also be making sure the vet was working that day and was alerted to the worming just in case they were needed.
 

Melandmary

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Just as an update. I posted my samples yesterday to catch the last collection. I have just had my results emailed and they were as expected so all in all my review is that it has been an excellent service and i have saved some money. I'm off to read the money saving tips on this forum now after all the doom and gloom of gas prices on the news😣
 

ester

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Performing a FEC is easy and quick if you have access to a microscope, so it is unlikely a company would use poor practice or knowingly get results wrong (as opposed to accidentally mixing up samples/results). The only way they could do that is if their staff can't count, or they are just making up a number and not bothering with any test. The tests don't take long so falsifying the results (or not bothering to count carefully) would not be worth the risk of being found out.

The more complicated bit is whether a company has staff with enough appropriate and in-depth education to advise customers on how to proceed once they have the result. But, again, a company would soon be found out if their staff were making errors or spouting rubbish. The 'advice' part is the only bit I could possibly see being responsible for a price difference between companies, but equally one company may just be cheaper than another because they have lower profit margins.

I'm not involved with any testing company, but I used to carry out tests for a vet practice when I was a student. I use my own vet's for my horses' FECs now.
Ditto I wouldn't have any method concerns, if I were to have any re, process it would be sample tracking as IME that's where the most mistakes are made in a lab based structure.
 

paddy555

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I sent my pots to Poo post yesterday and the results came back today.
All < 50 except one which was 50 (ascarids)
Results at the same time last year from Westgate were all <50 so I have no reason to question my use of Poo post and will be sending the next ones there.
 
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I’ve always used Westgates and they’ve been great. Never had any issues. The price has gone up a lot over the last few years though and with four equines (2 of which are donkeys) and four camelids to monitor it was costing a fortune. I also find it odd that there is no multi buy discount as such with Westgates. I seem to pay the same amount per unit for multiple tests as I would for just one. I have therefore decided to give Poo post a try this time. Ordered four equine counts, 2 lung worm counts for the donkeys and 4 farmyard animal kits. It was very reasonably priced by comparison I have to say.
 

paddy555

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I'm sticking with Westgate. I have had superb ongoing free advice over the years from them over tricky horses with repeat high counts. I trust them to do a professional job. I am very suspicious of a new company who pops up significantly undercutting a main competitor.

I trust Westgate not to cut corners.

.
I thought I would update as I am sure people wonder about this observation and whether poo post can be trusted to do a good job. I did when I decided to try them.
This is my second count with PP again on 8 horses.
price is again around half of Westgate.

I have had counts on this stable herd for about 15 years and I can predict precisely what the results will be.
All less than 50 or 50 except for 2 who lived as semi ferals and had no worming history and therefore came with worms.

My results came back today and were exactly as I had known they would be. In fact I could have sent them the results along with the samples. :rolleyes: There 2 miserable little ponies both had the requisite number of worms and need worming. Every other horse was spot on where it should be and, I suppose, so were these 2. :D:D:D

(I have no interest in PP I just need to save money on FECs on multiple horses.)
 

MuddyMonster

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22 September 2015
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Quick Q with PooPost as Westgate seem even pricier now (I do understand they have rising costs) are your results saved on your profile so you could look back if needed?
 
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Thanks for the update. I too have had two very good experiences with poo post also. Both for donkey lung worm counts and alpaca FECs. I’ll be sending the horses samples off shortly also. I’ve found them very quick and comprehensive and my results were also just as expected.
 
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