Fecal Parasites Protocol

Fecal Parasite Examination

AVL provides fecal parasite examination by a salt solution/centrifugation method. (AVL provides collection container for use in this procedure.)

AVL’s procedure for fecal examination follows the recommendations provided by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC).

  1. Gross Examination
    • Before submission of feces to AVL, the veterinarian or technician should conduct a gross examination for presence of blood, mucus, intact worms or tapeworm segments.
  2. Sample Size (very important)

    • Specimen size should be at least 1 gram of formed feces (approximately 1 tablespoon). If feces are soft: sample size should be 2 grams, for slurry-like, submit 4 grams. For liquid feces, a sample of 6 grams should be submitted.
    • Inadequate sample size (ex: fecal loop or very small sample) may result in false negative results.
  3. Solution
    • AVL uses Sheather’s sugar solution: more efficient for the centrifugation technique than salt solutions.
  4. Centrifugation
    • Well-mixed feces with a salt solution are poured into centrifugation tubes. The tube is spun near full, removed from the centrifuge and filled to the top. A cover slip is added and allowed to sit a minimum of 20 minutes before reading.

The outlined method as employed by AVL, upon recommendation by the CAPC, provides accurate fecal parasite examinations. At times other examination/methods are needed, including direct saline smears for giardia, Baerman funnel method for lung worm and antigen testing for giardia/cryptosporidia.