How to take a faecal worm egg count

  1. Collect the dung sample whilst it is still warm using a glove and place into a container or clean freezer bag which can be properly sealed. Collecting the sample from fresh dung is important to ensure that the result is as accurate as possible.
  2. Eggs are not evenly distributed in droppings so the sample should be taken from several faecal ‘balls’ within one pile of droppings. The total sample size needs to be 4g - about the size of a golf ball, maybe slightly larger if the horse has been eating hay as hay weighs less than grass!
  3. Collect dung separately from each animal to be tested. Do not combine dung from different animals.
  4. Ensure that the container or bag is clearly labelled with your horse’s name, your surname, your postcode and the date the sample was taken (you might want to do this before you put the sample in the container!).
  5. Ensure that the container/bag is properly sealed.

How to package a faecal worm egg count sample for posting

  1. Take a sample following the steps above
  2. To avoid any leakage, please place the sample container or bag in another freezer bag and secure that tightly as well.
  3. Place the securely sealed sample(s) in a tough, padded envelope addressed as required.

Please note that the postage costs of the package will depend on its weight and size.

Please do not post samples to arrive over the weekend or on a bank holiday. The egg count is better done when the sample is as fresh as possible and your vet will be unable to carry out the egg counts on a weekend/bank holiday.

If you need to store the sample before posting it, please keep it out of direct sunlight and in a cool place. Ideally, keep it in the fridge. Aim to post or deliver the sample on the same day you collect it.