Readers Share Fecal Egg Count Test Experiences

More than 590 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Does your veterinarian recommend fecal egg count exams?"

 

results of poll on fecal egg counts

Results were as follows: 

  • Yes: 43.32% (256)
  • No: 33.16% (196)
  • I don't know, we haven't discussed it: 23.52% (139)

Readers shared their experiences with fecal egg counts in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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Poll sponsored by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health.


  • I always have to ask to have one done.
  • I have not yet done fecal, but its best for preventing wormer resistance.
  • We did do one with our old vet when our horse was sick.
  • I am the one who asks the vet to do the fecal every year.
  • Can they tell which type of worm egg it is? Not just by season?
  • but he should
  • we have not discussed it....yet. However I don't think he would be against it :)
  • My dog vet does, but not horse vet
  • He doesn't really recommend, but supports my choice to do so
  • She doesn't reccomend having it done but offers it as a service, thinks that it's a waste of $$.
  • My vet all but dismissed fecal counts, saying just worm and don't worry
  • It's the only sensible approach since there are no new deworming agents in the pipeline!
  • all the time!
  • As an ex vet tech, I do mine myself.
  • Only on my small animals, not really utilized on the horses unless suspected problem
  • i have one horse at my barn. in order to have accurate FEC you need 8+ horses tested multiple times
  • it's expensive compared to buying a tube of dewormer. Make it cheap and I'll do it.
  • Did it myself and was so surprised
  • I wish they did. I think it is just as important as our vaccinations
  • But barn manager where I board and her vet does!
  • My vet says to do egg counts on all horses and deworm the high counts due to dewormer resistance.
  • should he?
  • hasn't mentioned it to me
  • Doing Counts on all 100 head, would be timely & costly
  • twice a year
  • Does not know how to explain it to clients Vet thinks clients did not go to college and can't read.
  • He used to, when he did tube worming (in the olden days!)
  • Yes, but my horses are on a strict worm shedule & no problems...
  • of course they do, anything to make a $, when I can do them myself!
  • Cheaper to do FEC than inflict drugs on my horse that she doesn not need every 6-8 weeks.
  • She does twice a year.
  • Fecal counts are not accurate - especially in large herds and no de-worming management
  • And he's shown me how to do them.
  • One boarder is a med tech so we do our own, based on vet's recommendation.
  • It has never come up with any vet consult I have had in 35 years
  • Just started testing this summer. Needed to beef up the worming program.
  • never -- my vet actually scoffed at me when I asked about it
  • No vet I've ever used has.
  • If we feel there might be a problem
  • Doesn't matter;try to get all boarders to do this! Ha! Futile effort..$$$
  • it was crucial in managing deworming for my 5 horses
  • Unless extensive testing is conducted, too many eggs are typically missed and therefore go untreated
  • just had it done, negative
  • Not recommended for the tiny herd where my easykeeper horse lives.(only 3 equines)
  • no vet in my 30 yrs of having horses referred fecal exams
  • Vet has never recommended, but I have taken in a sample for testing
  • That is the only way I deworm now. What a money saver and a horse saver!
  • I have never heard of this in California or Neveda
  • there are new recommendations re. time between worming & fecal test -depending on wormer class
  • NO, & I wouldn't have it done anyway. I am tired of spending money on diagnostic testing.
  • My small animal vet is totally for it, but the horse vet never mentions it.
  • My vet wants to make big $$, so he recommends that HE does the worming. Yea, right! NOT!
  • Say it can give a false result. Might not show up in count byt they might really have the worms.
  • Our vet recommended FEC as part of a systematic deworming program, to fight resistance to dewormers.
  • I have asked but he never says to do it. I do it on my own
  • No but I do them anyway.
  • Fecal exams are crucial to avoid worming unecessarily. Not using fecals contributes to immunity issu
  • Have been tayloring our dewormbing program accordingly.
  • He recommended, I had it done and now only need to worm twice a year for 4 horses!
  • If you deworm on reg.basis you shouldn't need too.
  • You are foolish to not! You can even do them yourself (as long as you are not horse-poo adverse)
  • Just recommends a daily worming supplement
  • My vet does not so I send samples to Horsemen's Labratory / Dr Byrd
  • never rotated wormer use. always checked 1st.
  • using alot less wormer
  • I've been able to reduce my dewormer use sigificantly. One mare only has to get wormed 1x a year.
  • It makes sense.
  • Rely on exams for my worming programme + worm for tapeworm as well

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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