Faecal testing 2018-01-28T20:24:16+00:00

Faecal testing

Although not a conversation topic for your next dinner party,  it is appropriate to talk to your reptile vet about any changes to your herps faeces.  This can include  changes to the colour, frequency or consistency of the faeces  and can indicate underlying issues.  Doing routine screenings can also pick up parasites before they become a problem.  Many reptiles carry parasites.   Some of these can be harmful while others are thought to be of some benefit (when present in low to moderate numbers).

We examine your reptiles faeces in  three ways.

Faecal floatation–  uses a specialized salt solution that is much greater than the density of water.  Over time the  parasite eggs float to the surface and stick to a glass cover slip.  This increases the sensitivity of the test by concentrating the eggs from the entire sample.

Faecal smear–  allows us to stain the faeces to look for inflammation, and to evaluate the bacterial or fungal component to the faeces

Wet preparation– allows us to look for parasites eggs and flagellated protozoan (you can see these in the first image). Flagelaltes parasites are a common cause of weight loss, vomiting, regurgitation and even respiratory issues.  A fresh sample is required because these parasites can drop their flagella and stop swimming within 10 minutes of collection.  A procedure called a cloacal wash can be performed to collect a fresh sample at the clinic.

Faecal testing

Although not a conversation topic for your next dinner party,  it is appropriate to talk to your reptile vet about any changes to your herps faeces.  This can include  changes to the colour, frequency or consistency of the faeces  and can indicate underlying issues.  Doing routine screenings can also pick up parasites before they become a problem.  Many reptiles carry parasites.   Some of these can be harmful while others are thought to be of some benefit (when present in low to moderate numbers).

We examine your reptiles faeces in  three ways.

Faecal floatation–  uses a specialized salt solution that is much greater than the density of water.  Over time the  parasite eggs float to the surface and stick to a glass cover slip.  This increases the sensitivity of the test by concentrating the eggs from the entire sample.

Faecal smear–  allows us to stain the faeces to look for inflammation, and to evaluate the bacterial or fungal component to the faeces

Wet preparation– allows us to look for parasites eggs and flagellated protozoan (you can see these in the first image). Flagelaltes parasites are a common cause of weight loss, vomiting, regurgitation and even respiratory issues.  A fresh sample is required because these parasites can drop their flagella and stop swimming within 10 minutes of collection.  A procedure called a cloacal wash can be performed to collect a fresh sample at the clinic.