Streamlining Fecal Egg Count Testing With Vetscan Imagyst®
Discover how one California equine clinic has integrated Vetscan Imagyst into its practice and wellness program for fecal egg count testing.

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Vetscan Imagyst with iPad showing fecal analysis
Vetscan Imagyst is a diagnostic tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to deliver fast, accurate results for a variety of tests, including equine fecal egg counts.1 | Courtesy Zoetis

Like many aspects of veterinary medicine, new technologies and treatments typically catch on in the small animal realm before moving over to equine. Such has been the case with Vetscan Imagyst, a cutting-edge diagnostic tool that uses artificial intelligence to deliver fast, accurate results for a variety of tests.1 

Doug Anez, DVM, founder of Pacific Crest Equine, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, integrated the technology into his practice’s wellness program for fecal egg count testing after his wife, Kelly Anez, DVM, found success with it at Pacific Crest Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital. Her team had been using Vetscan Imagyst primarily for ear cytology and fine needle aspirates in small animals. When equine fecal egg counts came available for the tool in spring 2023, Doug Anez’s staff tried it and were blown away with the results.  

“We like to be on the forefront of the latest technologies from both medical and business aspects of practice,” he said. “Small animal brought (Vetscan Imagyst) on, and now we’re both benefiting from it. This was one of those things that is a no-brainer in my opinion.” 

Fecal Egg Count Testing Accuracy and Consistency in Horses 

Consistent analysis and accuracy of results are the biggest benefits Vetscan Imagyst has brought to Pacific Crest Equine’s fecal egg count testing process, said Anez. It eliminates the potential for human error when reading slides, creates efficiencies, and saves time, which is crucial with a busy staff schedule. Veterinary technicians simply place up to two slides on the device’s tray, and within 10 minutes the scan is complete and they can review the results. They can then choose which images to include in the PDF report to the client. 

“The technicians can multitask when they put the samples in the machine,” Anez explained. “While it’s reading, they can do other things or get more samples ready.” Pacific Crest Equine is now using Vetscan Imagyst daily, often completing batches of 30 or more fecal egg count tests in a single day. 

One of Vetscan Imagyst’s key features is the tele-cytology option to have a board-certified clinical pathologist examine slides remotely within just two hours. While most equine fecals don’t require a pathologist’s interpretation—making results even faster—“if we do have concerns, we can send it out and have them review it. It’s been great in that respect, and the support has been fantastic,” said Anez.  

Parasite Egg Images Lead to Horse Owner Compliance 

VETSCAN IMAGYS with-Scanner
Practice staff can choose parasite egg images to include with the reports they send clients. | Courtesy Zoetis

Pacific Crest Equine has promoted strategic deworming based on fecal egg count results for nearly 30 years to their clients. It’s also a core part of their wellness program. Consequently, Anez’s team has collected a considerable amount of historical data to compare with Vetscan Imagyst results. “The scans have been consistent with our norm, so I feel really confident with it,” he said. 

“I also think it gives great client value because we send them the report that has the images (of the parasite eggs) on it,” he added. “And pictures are worth a thousand words, so we get better compliance” with parasite control recommendations. 

Soon, Anez says his team plans to use Vetscan Imagyst to interpret broodmares’ endometrial cytology results. The platform’s other testing capabilities include dermatology, hematology, and urine sediment analysis for small animals. “I think there are a lot more avenues for use in our practice,” said Anez. 

Further Reading  

Vetscan Imagyst: Benefits to Vets, Techs, Horses and Owners. Vetscan Imagyst gives veterinarians a straight line to a clinical pathologist available 24 hours a day who can quickly provide interpretation of cytology samples.  

Vetscan Imagyst: Mixed Practice, Positive Results. The team leader at Adobe Veterinary Center in Arizona helps us understand how they have incorporated Vetscan Imagyst into their mixed animal practice. 

Editor’s note: For more information about Vetscan Imagyst, visit https://www.vetscanimagyst.com/equine/ or talk to your Zoetis representative. 

1. Zoetis Data on File: DHX6Z-US-22-131. 2022.

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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