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…