Wednesday, July 8, 2015

High Incoming Fecal Egg Counts

Fecal egg counts on June 26 ranged from 0 to 11,900 epg and averaged 2170 + 2519 epg. The median fecal egg count was 1200 epg.  The standard deviation is larger than the mean, which means the data fluctuates wildly. Unlike most other data, fecal egg count data is not "normally" distributed. Often statistical analysis is applied to fecal egg count data to "normalize" it.

For the past two years, the bucks have had very low initial fecal egg counts, 830 and 324 epg, respectively for the 2014 and 2013 tests. 2012 is the only other year in which initial fecal egg counts have been above 2000. High egg counts are not a bad thing. It  means the goats have already been exposed to internal parasites.

The higher egg counts are also somewhat expected, as the test is starting 4 weeks later this year, and it has been moist in much of the country. The sequential deworming should have knocked back most of the infection. The July 9 fecal egg counts will be compared to the June 26 fecal egg counts to determine the effectiveness of the sequential deworming with albendazole, moxidectin, and levamisole. An effective treatment will reduce egg counts by 95 percent or more.

Fecal samples could not be obtained from some of the goats. It is difficult to obtain a sample if the goat has liquid feces. Statistical analysis of previous years' test data has previously shown a low to moderate correlation between FAMACHA© scores and fecal egg counts. Goats with higher FAMACHA© scores usually have higher fecal egg counts (and vice versa), but this is not always the case. For this reason (and other reasons), fecal egg counts should generally not be used to determine the need to deworm an individual animal. 

Kiko buck we nicknamed Stubby (shortened ears)

The fecal egg count from the pooled fecal sample was 1550 epg. The pooled sample is still being analyzed for larvae ID. All fecal analyses are being performed by Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's lab at Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia.

Download initial fecal egg count report