Types of worm

Roundworm – Large Redworm – Tapeworm – Lungworm Larvae – Giardia – Pin Worm – Encysted Small Redworm
 

Roundworm (ascarids)

Roundworms are large creamy white worms. They are not as common as redworm, and are more usually found in young horses. Infection can have serve consequences, with large worm burdens leading to intestinal blockages, poor growth and even death. Symptoms of infestation can include a pot belly appearance, poor coat condition and poor growth in youngsters.

Large Redworm (strongylus vulgaris)

Large redworm is far less common than the small redworm. In severe cases it can cause blockages in blood vessels, damaging organs and causing internal bleeding.

Large redworm can be detected in a worm count and will come under Strongyles on test results. This is because eggs from large redworm and small redworm have a very similar appearance therefore differentiation of the two is harder however, the treatment is the same.

Tapeworm

The most common tapeworm in the UK, Anoplocephala perfoliata, is flat and can grow to about 8 cm long by 1.5 cm wide. The body consists of numerous segments (proglottids) and the head (scolex) has four suckers (bothridia) which the tapeworm uses to attach itself to the gut wall. They mainly reside at the ileo-caecal junction and adjacent areas of the intestine and caecum. Infected horses pass tapeworm eggs onto the pasture where they are consumed by the intermediate host, free-living oribatid mites. The eggs develop into larvae within the mite. When the mite is ingested by a grazing horse, the larvae are released within the horse where they develop into adult tapeworms capable of completing the cycle by releasing eggs. The proglottids mature into a sac of eggs (gravid proglottids) which breaks up, releasing the eggs whereupon the cycle begins again.

Due to the tapeworm’s egg release mechanism, burdens cannot be reliably detected by faecal egg counts (FEC). Although tapeworm eggs can sometimes be detected in FECs, the true tapeworm burden can be substantially underestimated as eggs can only be counted if the segments break up and release the eggs uniformly within the faeces.

We recommend that horses are tested every 6 – 12 months depending on individual risk factor, alongside regular faecal testing.

Lungworm Larvae (dictyocaulus arnfieldi)

Lungworm is a lung parasite. The larvae burrow through the intestine walls once eaten by the horse or donkey, travelling through the body to the lungs where they develop into adult lungworm. It can take around 6 weeks to reach maturity. Infection of lungworm irritate the lungs, causing coughing, breathing difficulties and can cause bronchitis.

Lung worm can be trickier to detect in horses as they may be infected but the parasite may not reach adult egg laying stages. Due to this we test three samples, taken over a three day period using the Baermann technique and sedimentation.

Testing should be carried out if your equine is coughing, wheezing or has a mucus discharge and you suspect lungworm. For donkey’s lungworm egg counts should be tested routinely as part of your worming programme.

If grazing your horses / ponies alongside donkeys then it is advised that you carry out a faecal egg count for your donkeys, who are assumed to be the natural host of the parasite (as well as your horses if lung worm is suspected). Lungworm larvae can live on pasture a long time, therefore good pasture management can help reduce infection for the equine (and donkeys). Donkeys and equines can live together quite safely, provided that you adopt a good de-worming programme with your vet.

Donkeys, which usually show few signs of the infection, are the prime source of pasture contamination for horses.

Giardia (giardiasis)

Giardia is less talked about in horses however can be the cause of intermittent diarrhoea. Giardia is a cyst and is more commonly found in younger equines/ foals. Giardia infects the small intestine and can be spread through pasture. It is also a zoonotic as it can be passed from animal to humans. If your horse has unexplained diarrhoea then a giardia test would be beneficial. Giardia is an emerging problem is dogs but can be found in companion animals and ruminants. We offer an Antigen Rapid test kit for Giardia.

Pin Worm

Pinworm are not a true intestinal parasitic worm but can be highly irritating to horses! Horses ingest pinworm eggs which then travel to the intestine where they hatch and live. Instead of being passed out in droppings, Pinworm make their escape and lay eggs around the anus. It is then common to see horses itching their tails/ bum on anything that may relieve the itch!

As eggs are not passed in the horses faeces, it is unlikely a worm count will show pinworm eggs. For a more accurate result we use a sticky tape impression which is taken from around the hairless area of the horses anus and then viewed under a microscope.

Encysted Small Redworm

Small redworm larvae can encyst within a horse’s gut wall throughout the year. This can lead to the damaging of the gut, which can cause diarrhoea and colic. Please note this does not show up on a worm count test so please speak to your vet.

Available test kits for Equine

You can now purchase your freepost Animal specific worm egg count from our website. You will receive your results within 48 hours of receipt by email or post whichever you prefer. Our staff are fully qualified Amtra SQP’s able to advice on Anthelmintic products.

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Feclab Specialise in Faecal Egg counts for Companion Animals, Equine, Livestock & Poultry.

⚠️⚠️⚠️BANK HOLIDAY COMING⚠️⚠️⚠️
Just a reminder that there is a Bank Holiday this weekend therefore please avoid posting samples after Thursday, until Tuesday. This may cause delays with Royal Mail next week too.
Many thanks
The Feclab Team
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🐑Now is the time to start faecal egg counts (FECs) on February and March-born lambs, says SCOPS🐑

While roundworm activity so far this season has been relatively low, the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) Group says the recent temperature increase means this could change quickly on many farms, as warm, damp conditions encourage larvae to hatch from eggs and develop into infective larvae on pastures.

To fond out more, follow the link below⤵️
www.scops.org.uk/news/24656/now-is-the-time-to-start-faecal-egg-counts-fecs-on-february-and-march...
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Happy Friday!
Now Resolved 🤞
Our website seems to have taken an early weekend! Please bear with us while we resolve this 😉
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Bank Holiday Reminder
Please avoid sending samples from tomorrow, until Tuesday, to avoid being held over the BH.
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⚠️ Nematodirus Update - Protect your Lambs ⚠️
You may have recently seen an update from SCOPS, highlighting the earlier than usual appearance of Nematodirus this year.
Please check the map for your area and where risk is heightened a proactive approach, where lambs are outside grazing should be taken to protect them. Timing is key!
While Nematodirus can be seen in a FEC, by this point it can often be too late.Has your spot changed colour yet?!🔴⚫️

Track the threat of nematodirus to YOUR flock with the ‘traffic lights’ on the SCOPS Nematodirus Forecast map🐑

More at www.scops.org.uk/nematodirus
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⚠️ Nematodirus Update - Protect your Lambs ⚠️
You may have recently seen an update from SCOPS, highlighting the earlier than usual appearance of Nematodirus this year.
Please check the map for your area and where risk is heightened a proactive approach, where lambs are outside grazing should be taken to protect them. Timing is key!
While Nematodirus can be seen in a FEC, by this point it can often be too late.

Lambing time, here at Feclab has begun!
We hope your lambing season has gone/ goes well.
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Lambing time, here at Feclab has begun! 
We hope your lambing season has gone/ goes well.

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Oooo so cute !!

⚠️ 📢 Temporary closure for EquiSal samples.
Due to an exciting move to a new premises Equisal samples will not be tested between the 29th of February and the 12th of March. Please avoid posting back your EquiSal samples during this time.The team at EquiSal is excited to announce that we are moving to a much larger purpose-built laboratory during March 2024.

Due to the complexity of moving robotics and other laboratory equipment, we will be closed for the duration of the move so no testing will be carried out.

Please avoid sending us samples during this time but any samples arriving will be safely stored in our fridges to await testing.

You can continue to use addressed envelopes as we will be forwarding post following the move.

Keep an eye out for more updates!
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⚠️ 📢 Temporary closure for EquiSal samples. 
Due to an exciting move to a new premises Equisal samples will not be tested between the 29th of February and the 12th of March. Please avoid posting back your EquiSal samples during this time.

Update 9/01/24: Website back to normal ✔️
Good afternoon.
Our website is currently suffering with that "Monday feeling".
It should be back running as normal soon, just in case you have noticed it being a little slow!
Apologies for the inconvenience.
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