Parasites in Farm Animals

Parasitic diseases are a constant threat to animal health and productivity on Irish farms. Accurate and timely testing is necessary (i) to identify the parasites present in your cattle or sheep, (ii) to determine if deworming treatment with anthelmintics is required and (iii) to determine which anthelmintics are most effective on your farm. The IEC offers the following tests for the detection of parasites in cattle and sheep:


Animal Species 

Parasite detected 


Faecal Egg Count (FEC)

Cattle, Sheep


Results expressed as number of eggs per gramme (EPG) of faeces.

Treatment may be required above certain EPG threshold. 

Repeated FECs may be used to determine anthelmintic efficacy. 


Results expressed as number of eggs per gramme (EPG) of faeces.

Shedding of tapeworm eggs may be intermittent. 


Results expressed semi-quantitatively (e.g. negative, +, ++, +++)

Fluke Egg Screen 

Cattle, Sheep

Liver Fluke 

Results expressed as detected or not detected.  

A count of fluke egg number is not necessary as detection of any number of eggs is evidence of infection.

Shedding of fluke eggs may be intermittent.

Rumen Fluke 

Baermann Technique 

Cattle, Sheep


Detects lungworm larvae in faeces. 

Cryptosporidia Screen 

Cattle, Sheep


Detects cryptosporidium antigens in faeces. 

  • 24-hour turnaround time on all tests
  • Discounts available for batches of samples
  • Follow-up veterinary advice available