Should you do a worm count?
7 CommentsTuesday, 23 October 2018 | Kate
What is a worm count?
A worm count is actually a counting of the worm eggs present in a sample of your dog's stool. This examination determines whether or not there are any worm eggs present in the stool. If the answer is yes then it means there are also worms present in the animal that gave the faecal sample. With the exception of lungworm, most worms that live inside animals will lay their eggs which will be passed via the stool. Once the stool is deposited then picked up, eggs can be left behind on grass and leaves which your dog may lick or eat. Insects can also pick up the eggs which may be eaten by your dog which starts the cycle all over again, which is why a worm egg count, and worming are vital to maintain your dog's health.
Why do a worm count?
Slugs and snails can often carry Lungworm eggs too which can lead to much bigger problems if your pet eats them, or licks the grass they've travelled over during their excursions. Many types of worms can easily be passed onto us and our families so it's better to be safe than sorry.
This is why routine worm counts and lungworm egg count are such a good idea. Routinely checking four times a year can give you the peace of mind from knowing that your dog and your family are protected from worms. If one of your pets happens to pick up worms then there are a range of natural wormers available. Four Seasons and Verm-X are the most popular. Worm eggs can't be seen in the stool by the naked eye which is why they need to be sent off to a laboratory for a professional examination.
How easy is it to do a worm egg count?
It's so easy. When you opt to carry out a worm egg count on your dog you'll pay for a worm count kit - which includes the lab testing - and we'll send it to you in the post. The kit will come with instructions but essentially you'll collect a stool sample (with gloves on - included) and send it off to the lab where it will be examined. The results will be sent back to you via email a few days later with further instructions if necessary.
Where do I get a worm count egg Kit?
You can order a worm count for your dog from My Itchy Dog.
How effective are they?
As some worms and certainly their eggs can't be seen by the naked eye it is necessary to have a stool sample professionally examined under a microscope to determine whether there are eggs present. It is hard to be completely accurate and count every egg present (if any) so measurements are usually given to the nearest 50 eggs. If you've already tested for worms and they were found in the stool sample then a repeat test after you've started treating for them is the quickest way to find out whether they're working to get rid of the worms.
How do I stay protected without using veterinary wormers?
Lungworm is potentially fatal to our pets and can be difficult to cure. By the time you realise your dog is unwell there will be a high lungworm burden in your dog. If this is the case you MUST follow your vets instructions and take the treatment they prescribe. If you want to use natural worming products then you must make sure your dog is clear of lungworm before you start. Which is why prevention and routine checks are the key to keeping your dog safe.