Early Days

The Poop Post…A Foray into Fecals…Oh Sh!t…

I couldn’t decide what post title would be best. I’ll let you decide.

Horseman’s Lab Fecal Kit
Image from http://myhorse.com

Following a disturbing worm situation at the end of last year, I signed up for a mail-order fecal testing service through HorsemensLab.com. They send you a fecal test kit every 3 months, you send them back the sample, and they email you the results within a week with hard copy to follow by mail along with another sample kit if your horse tested positive.

The idea is that you only worm your horse when he needs it, which (a) reduces intolerance buildup in parasites and (b) may be healthier for your horse, since dewormers are basically toxins.

So I tested Hemie last week, and got the test results Tuesday morning. He is positive for strongyles at 100 eggs/gm, and positive for roundworms at <100 eggs/gm. The recommended protocol is to worm if strongyles test at 200 eggs/gm or higher, or if there is any positive testing for round worms, tape worms, or pin worms. So, someone's going to be getting a mouthful of goop very soon!

Roundworms are normally found in foals, not in mature horses. This is concerning, as it might indicate that Hemie has a compromised immune system, or that this particular strain of roundworms has adapted to survive in mature horses. In any case, thank goodness Dr. Byrd of Horsemen’s Lab is available to answer questions and give feedback about wormers to use. I’m going to give Hemie one application of double-dose fenbendazole from the Safe-Guard Power Dose set I bought last year but ended up not using. And in 3 weeks time I’ll send in another fecal sample so we can make sure everything got taken care of.

I have to say that while I dallied for months before signing up for the automatic mail-order fecal-testing kits (and unfortunately it took a wormy situation before I pulled the trigger and signed up), I am very pleased with the service and intend on using it for the foreseeable future. I used to think that it was cheaper just to worm, since the cost of a fecal test is about the same as a cost of a wormer. But the truth is that paying for the knowledge of his worm situation really is worth it. Peace of mind is worth $15.

On a very completely separate topic…

to Lauren of She Moved to Texas! She just had a fabulous contest on her blog to win a ShowSheen Try-Pak (4 oz samplers of 3 product), and I’m so excited to be one of the winners. Thank you!

4 comments on “The Poop Post…A Foray into Fecals…Oh Sh!t…

  1. That's really cool – I had no idea that this service existed. When I figure out Simon's new worming situation, I'll probably send out for a kit for him.


  2. Yeah, I am really like it so far. I gave Hemie the dewormer last night so hopefully I'll get a clean fecal test in a few weeks!


  3. I spent a good chunk of Friday night catching up on everyone's blog posts. I am spending Saturday morning commenting!

    I know we've discussed this before, but I also do fecals before worming. I think I might have had a positive test 15 years ago, but since moving to a twice a year program, I have had EPG counts of ZERO! I think our climate has more to do with it than anything else (dry and hot). My boys are on dirt/bedding with no pasture. Pasture and shared space is the easiest way to get worms (although pasture would be great to have). We also clean paddocks twice a day. I don't think worms could survive in our summer time heat anyway!

    I do my fecals in March/April and again in November (per my vet's recommendation). No matter what the test says, we give a dewormer after taking the sample (encysted worms don't show on the test). IF one were to come back positive, like yours, we would retest a few weeks later to be sure we had taken care of the infestation.

    My vet feels that there is some danger to being completely worm free which can lower a horse's tolerance if there is an infestation. Montoya died from just such a situation (very long story). Instead, my vet thinks that SOME infestation might actually be “healthy,” which is why we are following the twice a year program.

    Anyway … I love this topic. :0) Hopefully Hemie comes back with a clear test!


  4. Two things in your comment especially intrigue me – #1, worming after a negative test to get the encysted worms. My understanding is that only double-dose fenbendazole or Quest will work on encysted worms, depending on the type. And, if you're going to deworm anyway, why do the test? #2, the tolerance consideration. That is fascinating but seems chicken-and-the-egg in terms of their immune systems/tolerance ability versus exposure to worms.


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