sheep worm egg count


Samples should be collected following these guidelines:

1. Amount

The use of a Worm Test kit for collection is recommended for mob or herd testing.

Fill the entire container and close the lid tightly to the ‘second stop’.     

NB. A full specimen container is enough sample per animal for all tests.

Minimum requirements are:

  • 5 grams from each animal if pooling samples
  • 10 grams from each animal if testing individual animals

The minimum requirement is 10 grams if requesting a liver fluke test.

2. Method

Samples can be collected by either of the two methods below:

A.  Individual Worm Egg Counts

Samples can be collected from the rectum of individual animals in a race, or in the paddock.

Fresh, clean dung samples can also be collected from the ground, avoiding soil and old dry manure. The samples should be less than 10 minutes old, (so they should still be warm).  Each sample should be from a unique animal

For horses and cattle, it is recommended to use the gloves provided +/- the blue forceps.  (You may find the dexterity with the ‘forceps’ easier when it comes to transferring cattle and horse samples into the specimen containers)  Try to take samples from different locations within the same dung pile. Avoiding dirt, grass and other contaminants.  If necessary, open the dung pile with the forceps provided to obtain a ‘less contaminated’ sample.

If you would like to relate the egg count back to the individual animal then label the containers 1 to 15 with the stickers provided and record the animal identification corresponding to the number on the submission form.

B.   Pooled Worm Egg Counts

Muster a large number of the mob or herd to a clean corner of a paddock for 10 minutes and then let them drift away quietly. Fresh, clean dung samples can then be collected from the ground, avoiding soil and old dry manure. The samples should be less than 10 minutes old, (so they should still be warm).  Each sample should be from a unique animal. Fill all 15 sample containers. Ensure all containers have equal volumes of sample.

The samples will be pooled at the laboratory according to the completed test acquisition form. Dung will be pooled from five animals and thus provide three counts per 15 dung samples. The laboratory determines the average of the three counts. If ‘larval type’ is requested (that is larval culture and differentiation), dung is pooled from all 15 animals to determine the type of worms present in the mob/herd.

3. Timing

Avoid hot weather. Start collecting samples early in the morning if possible. Use an esky to place samples into on hot days when there are a large number of samples collected. NB. Collect samples at a time that they can be promptly delivered to our laboratory or, if posted, will not be delayed in the post over a weekend. You need to send the faecal samples off to the laboratory as quickly as possible. If short term storage is required, then place the sealed samples in a cool place (not in the fridge) away from light and for no longer than 48 hours as this may affect further development of eggs. 

4. Packaging/Post

Complete the accompanying 'Test Acquisition Form' and place all the sample containers in the zip-locked ‘Specimen Transport Bag’. Follow the packaging instructions printed on the outside of the mailing box provided. Place the box into the prepaid express post bag supplied with your test-kit.  Please sign the dangerous goods declaration and keep the yellow Australian Post Express Tracking Number sticker.  Your parcel can then be placed into any yellow express post box or delivered directly to the counter at any Australian Postal Shop.

5. Results

Results emailed within 24hrs of arrival. Those samples that require urgent results, mark accordingly so they get priority. Preferably phone to make arrangements to ensure no delays.  You will receive the worm type (culture) result 10-12 days after -the egg count result. Fluke Liver tests currently take 10-12 days also.

NB.Scopex Laboratories strongly recommend that you consult a veterinarian, or other suitably qualified adviser, for advice on monitoring and interpretation of the results.