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WORMSCAN - Bulk Faecal Worm Egg Count Service

Wormscan logo

WORMSCAN is SRUC Veterinary Service's pooled (or composite) worm egg counting service that can be used to monitor adult worm burdens in lambs. The results help you decide if you need to use a wormer and give you an indication of the contamination of that pasture by parasites. It can also be used to check that the wormer you have used has worked.

We can provide WORMSCAN kits for sampling; these consist of 10 sample pots, gloves, submission form, leak proof bag and a pre-paid jiffy bag for the return of the samples to the Laboratory for analysis.

How to collect the samples

The group of lambs to be monitored should be of approximately the same age and grazing the same pasture.

Gather the animals into a corner (or yard them) and let them stand there quietly for 5 to 10 minutes before allowing them to drift away.

Collect in plastic containers (provided in the kit), 10 individual fresh faeces samples from the ground and ensure a minimum of 3 gms in each (a good tablespoon full!). Remember animal faeces can contain bacteria that may cause human illness. Protect yourself and wash your hands after collecting samples (gloves are provided).

Submit the 10 individual samples to the Laboratory as soon as possible using the pre-paid jiffy bag. Keep the samples cool but not frozen.

Please note that the test has been validated for ten individual faeces samples from one management group which are bulked, mixed and sub-samples examined. A mean (average) value for the bulked sample is then calculated and reported. Please note that if the requirements of the SOP are not fulfilled (e.g. less than ten samples are submitted), the results will not be fully validated.

The lab will report the result to your veterinary surgeon. This, together with your assessment of the lambs' condition and information on pasture management should allow you to discuss the results with your vet and decide if you need to worm.

How often to collect samples

Ideally, start when the lambs are 6 weeks of age and check at 4-week intervals or less, if the worm count is rising (but note comment about Nematodirus battus, see below).

Checking the efficacy of the wormer

Over the years, good worm control in our flocks has become increasingly reliant on wormers (anthelmintics) which unfortunately has 'speeded-up' the development of Anthelmintic Resistance.  We need to slow this process down by more selective use of wormers and you can use WORMSCAN, to measure the efficacy of the wormers you have used.

The time between treatment and sampling the lambs depend on the type of wormer.

  • Levamisole / morantel (LM yellow wormers): 5 - 7 days post treatment
  • Benzimidazoles (BZ white wormers): 10 - 14 days post treatment
  • Avermectin / milbemycin (ML clear wormers): 14 - 16 days post treatment
  • 4-AD (orange): 14 days post treatment
  • 5-SI (purple): 14 days post treatment

Nematodirus battus

This parasite can cause problems in lambs from 6 weeks to 3 months of age. You cannot monitor for this as damage is done before the worms become adult and start laying eggs. Treatment for this is on the basis of risk of disease. Ask your veterinary surgeon for advice.

For more information contact your vet, local SRUC Veterinary Centre or use the contact details below.


WORMSCAN worm egg count (10 samples)

See price list

Further Information

Contact us on 01224 711177 or email:

Veterinary Services Enquiries

Address: SRUC Veterinary Services, Pentland Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0PZ

Telephone: 0131 535 3130

Fax: 0131 535 3131


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