Information on diagnostic tests used in worm control

Faecal Worm Egg Count:

  • Indicates the number of eggs being shed by adult roundworms.
  • A non-invasive test, which is performed in our own laboratory.
  • We just require 1g of fresh faeces from your horse.
  • FREE sampling kits can be sent out and returned by post (a stamped addressed envelope is included in your kit to cover return postage).
  • Results are reported the day the sample is analysed.
  • FREE advice is given based on the results and your individual horse‚Äôs management situation.
  • The test is competitively priced and discounts are available for multiple samples from the same owner or yard.
  • A high worm egg counts suggests a high burden of adult worms present in the horse.
  • The test is not an accurate indicator of how many small redworm larvae are encysted in the gut wall itself (as dormant larvae do not lay eggs).
  • The test does not accurately diagnose tapeworm infestation.
  • Other tests are required to diagnose encysted small redworm infestation (see below).

Tapeworm Saliva Test (Equisal):

  • Reliably indicates the level of Tapeworm infestation in your horse.
  • A very quick and easy test, which can be performed by the owner themselves.
  • The test is easily submitted to the lab by the owner, using the prepaid envelope included with the kit.
  • We recommend that the test is performed annually.
  • It can be performed in the Spring, Autumn or Winter.
  • A high reading indicates a high level of tapeworm infestation in your horse.
  • Only 1/4 of horses tested have a tapeworm infestation that needs treating.
  • Consequently, use of this test reduces the use of tapeworming products which, in turn, reduces worming costs for the owner and helps to prevent the build up of worms resistant to tapeworming products in your horse).
  • Competitively priced (or FREE as part of the Horse Health Program that we offer).
  • If your horse requires treating with a Tapeworm product that treatment is also FREE if your horse is on our Horse Health Program.
  • For more information of the test please see the EquiSal website.

Blood Test for Encysted Cyathostomes (small redworm larvae):

  • Indicates the level of infestation of larvae which have become encysted in the gut wall (a survival mechanism which results in disease such as diarrhoea and severe colic when the larvae emerge)
  • Blood is taken by a Veterinary Surgeon and sent to an external lab for testing (the turnaround time is normally 3 days).
  • Any horse or pony over the age of 3 months can be tested.
  • The optimum testing period is between September and December.
  • The test is recommended at any time of the year in horses with weight loss and / or diarrhoea.
  • Testing should not be performed within 4 months of administering Moxidectin (Contained in Equest and Equest Pramox).
  • The test is highly reliable with a sensitivity of 98%.
  • For further information please see this article from Austin Davis Biologics.
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