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Negative fecal - what next?

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  • Negative fecal - what next?

    My vet clinic wants their clients to do fecals in an attempt to cut down on extraneous worming. Per their instructions, I pulled fecals 3 months after administering Quest. They came back negative. When I asked what is the next step, they said "Wait 6 months then deworm."

    I was told that the negative fecals prove that my horses don't need much deworming, and that it's OK for horses to carry some worm load, and that additional testing is not needed for 6 months.

    I'm uncomfortable with this approach. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I see some fallacies here -

    1. Quest is good for 3 months, so I didn't really test anything except the efficacy of Quest.
    2. Flotation fecals only test for eggs, so if I wait too long and there are mature worms, I'll never know about it.
    3. They "think" ("theorize") that the horse's immune system is OK with some level of parasites. But they don't really KNOW. I'm already having enough trouble wrapping my puny brain around the less-frequent-worming protocol without thinking that my horses are being used as test subjects.

    It's been a month since those negative fecals, and I'm really not sure what to do. I have no problem spending the $$$ for addt'l fecals, if that is the best course of action.

    Please, inform me if I'm misguided!
    Or tell me what YOUR vet is advising.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

  • #2
    I had fecals done on my two about a month ago - I waited three months after their last deworming. Both came back negative and I asked my vets at the equine hospital what they recommend and they said to run fecals again at the end of summer (around end of August) and see if anything changes. I do pick my field as best I can daily and it's only my two on the 4-acre pasture. So my plan is to do fecals as they suggested and if anything changes as far as the results, then I'll see what they recommend at that point.

    I do remember one of my old vets saying to do fecals and deworm them w/ Quest Plus (though I can't remember if it was one or twice a year).

    I'd like to hear what others have suggested doing too since the whole thing about deworming has certainly changed recently!

    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


    • Original Poster

      Hoping for a few more responses please?
      "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


      • #4
        You have to do more than one fecal in order to say that the horse does not need worming.

        After one year of doing fecals on my own horses I am worming every 6 months spring and fall.

        I start runing fecals at the 5 month point.......I take one bun from several piles of one horse mix and test.........I then do this every week for 3 weeks.........if all counts are negative then I consider my horse clean......but will not go less than worming twice a year as fecals are not full proof. I have gone a year on one horse due to suspected allergy and still had clean fecals.

        I was worming every 12 weeks before doing my own fecals.



        • #5
          [QUOTE=retrofit;4923200]I was told that the negative fecals prove that my horses don't need much deworming, and that it's OK for horses to carry some worm load, and that additional testing is not needed for 6 months.

          I think 6 months is to long to go with out checking especially if it is already 3 months since the last worming......that would be 9 months between wormings.......while that is doable I would not make that jump all at once.........I did a gradual change from 3 month schedule to a 6 month schedule with lots (well over a hundred) of fecals inbetween.

          Last edited by Dalemma; Jun. 15, 2010, 10:08 AM. Reason: trying to fix quote