Deworming seems to be a never ending area of confusion for a lot of horse owners who all simply want to do what is best for their horse. With drug resistance becoming a bigger concern it's important that people move away from the traditional recommendations of deworming 6-8 weekly regardless of whether the horse actually needed it or not. The use of FEC (faecal egg counts) is becoming increasingly popular to ensure horses are dewormed based off FEC results and not simply on a calendar schedule. These days there are numerous very useful sites run by people passionate about parasites such as Worm Watch, Worm-Ed & WormCheck for those that wish to do further reading regarding timing of deworming and appropriate drug types.
Faecal Egg Count
While an FEC won't show all potential worms that a horse may be harbouring, it is an important piece of the puzzle to:
- Help with identifying which horses are low vs high shedders
- Evaluate the efficacy of the drench used by completing a FECRT (faecal egg count reduction test) by getting FEC's done before drenching and again 10-14 days after drenching
Mid-autumn is a key time to complete a FECRT to check the dewormer worked as this is the number one most important time of the year to be deworming all horses due to the timing being most ideal for breaking the bot fly life cycle. Just make sure you wait until the bot flies are finished for the season - this may not be until mid/late April.
Interested in a FEC? This can be done here at Rose Flats Equestrian - simply collect a small amount of fresh poo into a ziplock bag, label it with your name & horses name and drop it off here for testing. $15 for initial FEC, and $10 for a post-drench check.
Being a breeder I have always struggled at estimating the weight of foals and young stock every single time it comes round to deworming time. Having had a weigh scale for the past two seasons it brings such relief knowing that I am dosing every horse accurately. While it might not matter so much if your estimate is a little out it is something that could be avoided with a quick weigh in first, especially to avoid potential drug resistance caused over time by under-dosing. Our weigh scale is available for booking all year-round whether you'd like to confirm a weight prior to worming, or simply monitoring weight gain/loss.