Yup. I was collecting manure today. Not just any manure, but manure specific to the horses I wanted to worm test.
HOW DID I GET MYSELF INTO THIS MESS?
I want to try Omega Alpha’s natural parasite control called Para-X. But, the only way to really know if it is working is to know the parasite count before and after the application.
I decided to get kits for 3 of my horses (Tess -22, Wrigley-3 and Shetland Slick -19). I’d test their manure before we started then I’d treat them with Para-X and test again once the treatment was completed.
Sounds easy enough.
So, I sent off for the kits. You can too via the Horsemen’s Lab website.
Y’know, in every field of endeavor there are experts. So, why not count worms in horse poop? Somebody’s gotta do it and I’m kinda glad they provide the service since I know that I don’t want to do this…
I made an online order which was simple to do. Basically, you pay for the kit, they send it to you, you (ahem) fill it and then send it back in the SASRE that they provide. Easy.
The pricing is broken down like this:
TODAY THE KITS ARRIVED!
I got my kits and they were much smaller than I thought they’d be. So, I’ve added a Sharpie to the photo so you can see the relationship (I didn’t have an orange or an apple or a quarter…).
WHAT TO DO:
Actually, it is quite simple. I appreciated that they made the effort to keep the price down. Each kit is packed inside of a small plastic bag – like the bags you’d see containing a few extra buttons on the blouse you just bought…
They also added a small cotton quilted pad to soak up any moisture as well as a tiny ice-cream tester spoon. (Kinda ruined it for me for Baskin Robbins testing in the future – eech.) You also get a tiny plastic lidded container like you’d get for an eye creme sample at Nordstroms.
Anyway, simple but efficient. Nothing fancy.
Be sure to fill out the front side of the sample bag BEFORE you fill it… easier. I used one of my thousands of new Holiday return address stickers that have recently arrived in the mail to identify my bags. Worked great!
I went to the barn where I had stashed some fresh manure from each of my subjects. I had anticipated needing much more than I needed. One apple will do ya.
Using the little spoon for slicing and packing was somewhat humorous since it was so tiny and not a pillar of fortitude. Part of me just wanted to pick up a piece and smash it into the lotion container but I refrained.
But, to be honest, horse people are so used to manure: how often, how much, the color, the shape, the consistency… collecting manure for this was no big deal.
I ended up kinda cutting the morsel with the side of the spoon and then smashing the piece into the container with the back – just like packing ice cream. Then I snapped the cover over the little sample and inserted it back into the plastic baggie with the cotton pad in there with it.
SHIP IT BACK
I took all three of my samples and put them in the supplied envelope. I added another holiday return address sticker and I was done!
I’m not sure how long before I have results but I will let you know.
In the meantime, I will treat my horses with the Para-X and then do this process all over again.
So much fun! (It wasn’t bad, really…)
I listened to a seminar about Para-X. (Update: I’ve used it and I like it!)
My takeaway from the seminar was that worms become resistant to the formulas we all use to get rid of them (Ivermectin, Strongid).
What Para-X does is make the environment not comfortable for the parasites so they detach and leave. It doesn’t kill them, it evicts them, so to speak. They don’t want to hang around because the gut becomes unsavory to them.
I like that idea better than bombarding the poor horses’ guts with so much chemical.
Now, I’m not saying it works – yet… but it sounds so much healthier. If I was deworming myself, I’d rather do it naturally than put all kinds of chemicals into my stomach… I mean, most equine nutritionists insist that you follow any parasitic wormer with probiotics to replenish the gut with all the good bacteria that the dewormer killed… (Ugh. Here’s your sign…)
So, to me, this Para-X sounds like a really fine alternative. The less damage we do, the better.
I’ll keep you posted~
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I enjoyed watching the video of the dogs performing their tricks. My dogs have always enjoyed learning tricks. I have several cats to which I teach tricks, and even the old cat (he’s 17) has learned some new ones. I’m a follower of Dr. David Ramey’s blogs and he is not a fan of the “natural dewormers”. In the olden days a dewormer was basically a poison that killed parasites without harming the horse too much, because of the size differential. The modern dewormers target the parasite’s biology while having no effect on the horse. They are very safe, although many classes of antihelmintics are losing their efficacy due to horse owner misuse, such as a person I know who dewormers 1500 pound warmbloods with a single tube of ivermectin met for 1200 pounds or less.
i’ve been reading (and loving) your blog for a while now, and when a friend sent me this i thought of your phoblog day. it is long but awesome.
Gosh! That has not been my experience at all! I’ve ordered from Big Dee and Omega Alpha (online and via phone) and have had no issues. I tend to use Big Dee since they are in the US and shipping is easier. I have the phone number of a person at Omega Alpha that is eager to help you. If you can give her the details, she can fix it. I sent her name and email/phone to you privately. Please let her help. I know you can resolve it. Also, the products are incredible so I really want you to get what you bought, absolutely – and Omega Alpha does, too!
Oh, BTW, since you published that article on the baby carrots, I walk past them in the grocery store. I’ll just chop up a carrot for his treat now.
I worked for a vet as a teenager and set up canine and feline fec samples for worm tests all the time. Doesn’t take much poop. Back then, it was put in a saturated saline solution, and the worm eggs floated up to the top to a microscope slide over the small glass container. I think they use a different solution now. Pretty simple, so doesn’t take much. I appreciate you sharing this. Most things I’ve seen on “natural” wormers haven’t impressed me, but this has a different approach. Any idea what happens to the worms after they are expelled? I wonder if this works on bots.