A Different Approach to Deworming
Photo Credit to Barbara O’Brien
By Triple Crown Intern- Rachel Voelker
The Benefits of Fecal Testing
With a large number of horses at Copper Ridge Gaited Horses, a worm problem can get out of control rather quickly so we rely on the fecal testing to give us an understanding of where our horses are at. We have been using fecal testing for about a year now and have been able to reduce the worm load in every horse, as well as tailor our deworming program to each horse instead of giving them all the same product every 12 weeks. We have figured out which horses are high shedders, medium shedders, and low shedders and have adjusted our deworming protocol accordingly. Also, through fecal testing, we discovered that one of our broodmares had pinworms, even though she had just been wormed and was expected to be at zero for pinworms. Because we fecal tested, we were able to give her a different dewormer to kill the pinworms.
There are various labs that test fecal samples. Research your local lab to ensure they can provide the services you need, as some test for more varieties of worms than others. Fecal testing can vary in price, but the lab we use in the Midwest costs about $7 per horse. A dewormer, depending on the medications and quality, can range anywhere from $2 to $15. Through the use of fecal testing, we decreased our expenditures on deworming at our farm with 50+ horses.