Drenching, Faecal Worm Egg Counts and Drench Testing

Drenching your horse for worms

Horse drenching regimes depends on their stabling, paddock environment and management. Depending on the wormer and rotation used:

  • Horses should be wormed every 6-12 weeks
  • Foals can be wormed from 4 months of age with specific drenches (please check that your wormer is suitable for use in foals prior to using).

Significant worm burdens can cause poor body condition, diarrhoea and colic in some horses. If you think you have a significant worm issue in your horse, or if you feel that your drenching regime is not working, then we can perform faecal worm egg counts to measure the individual worm burden and drench effectiveness. 

Faecal Worm Egg Counts

Faecal Worm Egg Counts (FEC) are an important tool in assessing the worm burden of your animal. FEC's are also a valuable tool in ensuring the drench treatment that is being used for worm control has been effective.

Here at Kojonup Veterinary Hospital we perform FECs in sheep, cattle, horses and alpacas. In horses we suggest performing individual FECs which involves: 

  • Collecting a fresh sample of faeces (seen freshly dropped in the stable or paddock) from an individual horse into a bag and submitting into the clinic for analysis. **NOTE: if the sample isn't going to be submitted straight away, then please store it in the fridge (not the freezer). 
  • Please fill out the details of the horse (including name, age, date last drenched and name of the product used for drenching and home management) 

Drench Resistance Testing

Minimising unnecessary drenching in flocks is strongly recommended by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture  to help reduce worm resistance. Drench Resistance Testing allows us to examine the effectiveness of an individual drench on the worm burden in an individual or a group of animals. It allows us to assess if there is resistance in worms against an individual drench (or if the worm egg count is not reducing properly/at a suitable rate).

What does Drench Resistance Testing involve?

A drench resistance test involves:

  • Taking a sample of faeces before drenching and bringing these in for a FEC
  • AND a sample of faeces 10-14 days post drenching and bringing these in for a FEC 

If you have any questions about Drenching, Faecal Worm Egg Counts and Resistance Testing, please feel free to contact our clinic