Don't Forget to Re-Test ~ Fecal Egg Count Re-Test Matters

Two horses sharing their latest fecal egg count info?!
Two horses sharing their latest fecal egg count info?! Paul

Newsdate: Friday, December 28, 2018, 10:00 am
Location: MAHOMET, Illinois

You’ve done a wonderful job and completed your first round of equine fecal worm egg count tests on your horse herd and administered appropriate deworming treatments as needed based on the results. Brilliant.

Horses in pasture - A source of parasites.

Horses in pasture - A source of parasites

You must also consider the notion that your horse might harbor worms that are resistant to the dewormer protocol that you utilized.
© 2017 by Smerikal

If you’ve taken advantage of working with a professional testing laboratory directly, you’ll probably receive that friendly reminder that it is time to retest. The F.E.C.R.T. or fecal egg count reduction test is not something to forget about or put on the back burner. Why not?

If you’ve taken advantage of working with a professional testing laboratory directly, you’ll probably receive that friendly reminder that it is time to retest. The F.E.C.R.T. or fecal egg count reduction test is not something to forget about or put on the back burner. Why not?

Simply put, you can’t assume that the treatment you administered has worked. For example, just because you dewormed your horses it doesn’t mean that those intrepid alimentary canal explorers, the small strongyle worms, have been eradicated. In fact there is no such thing as a zero equine parasite population within the host.

There is a high likelihood that small strongyles may still be present in their encysted stage hiding in the mucosal layer of the horse’s gut. They have therefore avoided the destructive action the dewormer has exacted on those worms that were en route as worm eggs through the horse’s intestinal system.

The small strongyles burrow into the mucosal lining of the large intestine and normally become encysted there for 2-3 weeks, where they cause inflammation of the wall of the intestine. They can remain encysted and viable for 2.5 years! The adult small strongyles do not cause the horses much problem even when in high numbers.

Remember it’s called life cycle not life stasis. As with any living organism, it is important to recognize that there is a life ‘cycle’.

You must also consider the notion that your horse might harbor worms that are resistant to the dewormer protocol that you utilized. As you are unable to see inside your horse the F.E.C.R.T. provides a valuable resource to help you determine the success of your mission to minimize the internal parasite population in your horse.

Next time that reminder pops into your inbox be sure to take action. If you are not already working directly with a laboratory then consider it. Their auto-fill and reminder programs are very helpful in keeping you on track with your targeted worm control program and make our busy lives as horse owners much easier.

By Nikki Alvin-Smith

This article is brought to you courtesy of Horsemen’s Laboratory Inc., Mahomet, IL. –

About Horsemen’s Laboratory: Established in 1993 by John Byrd D.V.M., an experienced lifelong horseman and a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. As an equine medicine practitioner in California for 13 years, Dr. Byrd served as ex-officio member of the board of directors of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association where he also served as the organization’s official sales veterinarian.  In addition, Dr. Byrd frequently officiated, as veterinarian for horse shows sponsored by the management of Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.  Dr. Byrd’s extensive experience with horses led him to observe how a horse’s health could impact performance leading to the founding of the specialist lab for equine fecal worm egg counts. Please visit https://www.horsemenslab.com/ to find out more about F.E.C.T. services available directly to the horse owner including; advice on equine fecal egg count testing; quick and easy purchase of test kits online; reporting and expert consultation services. Dr. Byrd enjoys sharing his wealth of knowledge of equine parasitology with horse owners from all walks of life, and is available to provide lectures/symposiums for your club, organization or event. Please contact Dr. Byrd via his website for rates and further information.

About Nikki Alvin-Smith: International and national published freelance writer and photographer in such world renowned publications such as The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse and Hound, Dressage and CT, Warmbloods Today, The Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar, Reiter, The Equine Journal, Spur, Hoofprints, Horsin’ Around, Horses All, Field & Stream, Western Horse and Gun, Pony Quarterly, Horses All Canada, Catskill Horse to name a few. Ghostwriting, blog services, PR/Marketing copy either direct with manufacturer or for agencies, copy editing and editor services also available. Nikki also produces catalog copy, white papers, e-books, corporate brochures and advertising copy for international corporations and PR/Marketing for celebrities. 

As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 34 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international Grand Prix level to scores over 72% and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Baroque breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run a private dressage breeding operation and training yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. Please visit https://nikkialvinsmithstudio.com/ to learn more about the affordable freelance writing services on offer.

About the Author

Nikki Alvin-Smith

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As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 34 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international Grand Prix level to scores over 72% and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Baroque breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run a private dressage breeding operation and training yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York.

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