The ABCs of FECTs

Fecal egg count tests (FECTs) allow veterinarians to develop a tailored deworming schedule for each horse.
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Dealing with poop is often one of the least favorite chores for horse owners, but manure can actually be a window into parasite surveillance and detection of dewormer resistance.

As more veterinarians recommend strategic deworming programs rather than rotational methods, fecal egg count tests (FECT) become especially important.

“Fecal egg count tests allow veterinarians to determine a tailored deworming schedule for each horse and to detect resistance on farms,” said Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, manager of Merial’s Large Animal Veterinary Services. “Horse owners should work with their veterinarians to ensure that fecal egg count tests are properly conducted by independent, reputable laboratories.”

An FECT measures the number of strongyle eggs a horse passes in each gram of his manure. When you send a sample to your veterinarian, the results will consist of a number followed by EPG (eggs per gram), which will tell you whether your horse is a high (generally more than 500 EPG), medium (200-500 EPG), or low (less than 200 EPG) shedder. When performed properly, the results from FECTs can help determine the appropriate treatment protocol for your horse

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