This service comprises of a sampling kit, instructions, postage and 10% discount off BB Herbal Intestinal Parasite for Dogs or Cats. For multiple pets please contact us to receive discount per test.
What is a faecal egg count?
A faecal egg count is a sample of your animal’s faeces which is viewed under a microscope to see whether there are any worm eggs present.
How safe are DIY faecal egg counts?
DIY faecal egg counts are ONLY recommended if the person carrying them out has been suitably trained. Incorrect procedure, technique or interpretation of results could have catastrophic consequences for an animal’s welfare. Always ask your faecal egg count provider where they received their training.
What do the results mean?
The results show the number of eggs seen in the sample, reported as number of eggs per gram. They are interpreted to give an indication as to the level of worms in the dog or cat rather than a specific number.
Do they identify all worms?
Faecal egg counts identify eggs from the worms that lay eggs, in the stomach, as part of their lifecycle i.e. strongyles and ascarids.
Furthermore, the worm lifecycle includes many larval stages that are not detected through faecal egg counts. If eggs are identified then the horse will also have larvae migrating through it’s system at different stages, the number of larvae at each stage cannot be measured.
Why do I need to do this test?
The worms that cause disease in our dogs & cats are developing resistance to all of the chemical wormers available. In a nutshell they may not be working any more. A faecal egg count is the only way to assess whether treatments are working. Only a small number of dogs & cats have worms, however, over 80% are still being wormed. Using faecal egg counts instead of wormers means that your dog or cat will only have the treatments that they actually need.
Why can’t I do it myself?
If your dog or cat has a clear faecal egg count result then the standard recommendation from most commercial labs is ‘no worming needed’. However, this is not always correct. It is possible to have a ‘false negative’. This is when the dung sample is taken whilst there are still active chemicals in the animals system.
What does a clear result mean?
It means that there are no active adult worm eggs in the sample of dung that you have sent for analysis. It does not mean that your dog or cat does not have worms. The worm life cycle includes many larval stages that are not detected from faecal egg counting
What is the point of faecal egg counting?
Faecal egg counting is a fantastic development in the professional parasitological tool kit. They can be used to assess whether the chemical intervals of a worming program are effective at killing adult worms. They can be used to detect resistance to chemical or natural wormers and they will also detect large volumes of worms that are laying eggs. Veterinary recommendations are to stop blanket chemical worming as it is not working any more. It is only by replacing the chemicals with faecal egg counting that our animals will remain safe.
Do all companies and vets offer the same service?
Every test involves the analysis of dung under a microscope, however the quality of the results will vary greatly. There is no quality control over faecal egg counting and no qualifications needed to carry out the test. The cost of the microscope can vary from £25 to £3,000 such as those in the veterinary universities. This has a huge impact on the accuracy of the result. There is also another piece of equipment that will improve the visibility of the sample. A centrifuge spins the dung and organic matter in the sample away from the eggs. With a centrifuge only the eggs are left to view, without a centrifuge all grass, dung matter etc. are still under the slide when viewed through the microscope. I am certain that you can picture the difference between the qualities of the two methods.
Chemical or natural wormers
Increasing numbers of pet owners are turning away from chemical wormers, preferring to use herbal products. However, is the herbal remedy you use really suited to your particular animal?
Perhaps you chose not to worm at all. But can you be absolutely sure that your animal has not picked up a parasite from another animal whilst having a friendly sniff? Does he go out for walks? Could he have eaten something that is full of worms?
Whether you regularly worm using chemical or natural wormers, or you have chosen not to worm at all, the only way to have peace of mind is to be sure that your regime is working. A worm count will check the parasite burden in your animal. It must be remembered though, that a worm count, like an MOT for your car, is only a snapshot of what is going on inside your animal at that moment. You need to check regularly to ensure the well-being of your pet.