What is a Fecal Egg Count?
Veterinary clinics and independent laboratories can conduct a Fecal Egg Counts (FEC) which is a test to determine your horse’s parasite load. This is a great way to learn if you need to deworm and what dewormer to use.
Simply collect a small, fresh manure ball in a sealable bag marked with the date and horse’s information and give it to your veterinarian. The vet clinic will normally complete the test within twenty-four hours.
This test will not only determine the number of eggs in the stool sample, it will also enable strategic deworming by identifying what types of parasites are present. Armed with this information, horse owners can decide the best strategy to getting their horse healthy.
If deworming is necessary, the mildest medication targeting the specific infestation is recommended. Two weeks after treatment, a follow up Fecal Egg Count should be performed to ensure the parasite number has reached safe levels.
With good horse keeping protocols, FECs can be run as little as once or twice a year and can reduce the need for deworming to once a year or less, providing an even greater savings.