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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Question DIY Reptile Fecal Exams/Kits?

    I have come to the determination that it would be very beneficial for me (and probably most of us) to learn how to do our own fecal exams on our beloved reptiles. I have already started researching it and it seems to be unbelievably simple to do and very inexpensive to get everything you need! Here is a video I found on Youtube:

    How to Perform Your Own Fecal Exam - Reptiles:



    Do any of you guys do your own fecal exams or know where a reptile fecal test kit can be purchased in the United States? They can be purchased on the following site, but they are located in Saskatoon, SK:

    https://www.stargazerexotics.ca/onli...cope-p73014710

    It would be easy enough to just purchase the few necessary items individually. But, I would really like to have the instruction guide and the identification guide that comes with the kit above. I found what appears to be the same handheld microscope that is used in the video on Ebay for only $15.99 (with free shipping). I would just need to make sure they are capable of zooming in to the proper amount of magnification for fecal exams. I have found all of the other items very cheap online as well...
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  2. #2
    BPnet Lifer zina10's Avatar
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    I think it would be interesting to check for the more "common" or easily seen parasitic infestations.

    But some can be tricky to see/find even for a Vet. Certain stains are needed, different magnifications, etc.

    Here is a good read..

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/exotic...es-of-reptiles
    Zina

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    Aedryan Methyus (01-13-2018)

  4. #3
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    A good book to go along is this https://www.amazon.com/Understanding...tile+parasites (which also includes other type of parasites)

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    Aedryan Methyus (01-13-2018)

  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    I have learned that a monocular/binocular compound microscope with viewing objectives of 10X, 40X, 100X, and 400X is what is needed. According to the source, any power above 400X is a bonus, but isn't required...

    Source:

    http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Fecaltest.html


    That source also recommends the same book that you mentioned, Deborah...
    1.0 Lavender Albino Motley 25% Kalatoa SD Reticulated Python - "Sixx"
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  7. #5
    Registered User SDA's Avatar
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    Do you know the difference in cysts and ovum of parasites to be able to determine if it is round worm, tape worm, hookworm, flukes and the like or do you know the difference between hexamita and giardia? Improper diagnosis can lead to improper treatment which can lead to complications. It's nice to be able to learn how to do a float but you also need to know what preparation (as in stain, fluid, etc) for what parasite to make the proper determination.

    For 99% of reptile owners just take it to a vet and let them do it, they are trained to know what to look for and what to treat with. I spent 8 years working in an infectious disease lab and even I have a hard time differentiating ovum and cysts. The last thing you want to do is misdiagnose say cryptosporidium for undigested animal matter.

    I could do my own fecals but would still need a prescription for anti parasitic meds and would still need a positive and proper ID to know which med to treat with (you can't use a broad spectrum on every parasite and some need to be treated in order) so why should I waste my time when a fecal is less than $20?

    In short, unless you are someone who has hundreds or thousands of reptiles and can afford the cost of material and high power enough scopes that have proper lenses (you need polarized lenses for some IDs) then don't waste your time, you are not a microbiologist and it isn't that easy, trust me.
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  8. #6
    BPnet Veteran Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Reptile Fecal Exams/Kits?

    Quote Originally Posted by SDA View Post
    Do you know the difference in cysts and ovum of parasites to be able to determine if it is round worm, tape worm, hookworm, flukes and the like or do you know the difference between hexamita and giardia? Improper diagnosis can lead to improper treatment which can lead to complications. It's nice to be able to learn how to do a float but you also need to know what preparation (as in stain, fluid, etc) for what parasite to make the proper determination.

    For 99% of reptile owners just take it to a vet and let them do it, they are trained to know what to look for and what to treat with. I spent 8 years working in an infectious disease lab and even I have a hard time differentiating ovum and cysts. The last thing you want to do is misdiagnose say cryptosporidium for undigested animal matter.

    I could do my own fecals but would still need a prescription for anti parasitic meds and would still need a positive and proper ID to know which med to treat with (you can't use a broad spectrum on every parasite and some need to be treated in order) so why should I waste my time when a fecal is less than $20?

    In short, unless you are someone who has hundreds or thousands of reptiles and can afford the cost of material and high power enough scopes that have proper lenses (you need polarized lenses for some IDs) then don't waste your time, you are not a microbiologist and it isn't that easy, trust me.
    For me, the idea of being able to do my own fecal exams would basically be more of a periodical/yearly/as needed checkup sort of thing, as well as a measure to help determine whether or not an animal needs a vet visit. Sure, it might only be $20.00 for a fecal exam, but that's in addition to a $60.00 + office call, which in some cases might not be necessary. That could add up really fast for people with a few animals...
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    CALM Pythons (01-13-2018)

  10. #7
    Registered User SDA's Avatar
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    Trust me you will misdiagnose most of what you see. You might get lucky and see things wiggling around but that would only be if you have a high load and prepared the float properly. I'm not trying to be arrogant, it took me years in school and months in field work to learn how to diagnose. It's still cheaper to just have a vet do it because as I said, you can't get medication without a prescription which means a vet visit which means a float anyway because he or she will still have to diagnose the right parasite to use the right treatment or whether or not to do it at all. Some parasites are not harmful to hosts and not treated.

    So again, not trying to discourage you but unless you have training, you aren't going to know what you are looking at and will still need a vet to treat so that $60 cost is still going to happen even if you get lucky and see a flagellate waving their flagella at you.
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  11. #8
    BPnet Veteran Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDA View Post
    Trust me you will misdiagnose most of what you see. You might get lucky and see things wiggling around but that would only be if you have a high load and prepared the float properly. I'm not trying to be arrogant, it took me years in school and months in field work to learn how to diagnose. It's still cheaper to just have a vet do it because as I said, you can't get medication without a prescription which means a vet visit which means a float anyway because he or she will still have to diagnose the right parasite to use the right treatment or whether or not to do it at all. Some parasites are not harmful to hosts and not treated.
    Quote Originally Posted by SDA View Post

    So again, not trying to discourage you but unless you have training, you aren't going to know what you are looking at and will still need a vet to treat so that $60 cost is still going to happen even if you get lucky and see a flagellate waving their flagella at you.


    Part of why I would like to be able to do this is because half of my collection consists of Bloods and Short Tails and due to their slow metabolism and the large amounts of time (months) in between when fecal samples can even be collected, it would be nice to have the ability to check on things when they finally go a couple/few times per year. I completely agree that they will ultimately have to go to the vet if there is an obvious problem. But, you don't think DIY precautionary fecal exams are reasonably simple enough for average people to learn enough about to be able to identify unsafe amounts of common dangerous parasites? Myself, I can't afford to be taking 20 + snakes per year in to the vet just for random precautionary fecal exams + all of the followup exams, etc...
    1.0 Lavender Albino Motley 25% Kalatoa SD Reticulated Python - "Sixx"
    0.1 Purple Albino Golden Child 25% Kalatoa SD Reticulated Python - "Xanthess"
    1.1 Sumatran Short Tail Pythons (Chrome Heads) - "Jasper" & "Samantha"
    1.1 Matrix/Het T+ Albino Blood Pythons - "Dexter" & "Sophie"
    1.0 Ivory Het T+ Albino Blood Python
    1.1 Marble Borneo Pythons - "Bam-Bam" & "Pebbles"
    0.1 Ghost Het Moonglow/Possible Super Boa Constrictor (BI) - "Priscilla"
    1.0 Normal Boa Constrictor Aberrant (BI) - "Simon"
    1.1 Woma Pythons - "Steve-O" & "Sheila"
    1.0 Mojave Ball Python - "Edger"
    0.1 Lesser Platinum Ball Python - "Cindy Lou"
    0.1 Mystic Ball Python - "Misty" (RIP)


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  12. #9
    Registered User SDA's Avatar
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    By all means try it if you want I just can attest from working in the field that it is a pain to determine what is and what is not a parasite. Thereare many other factors like knowing the life cycle of each parasite and where it lives during that life cycle. Regardless of it you think you can spot one, you still need to take it to a vet so more than not you will misdiagnose parasites so to me, a $60-80 bill annually is worth it for my pets.

    Do it if you want but it might not turn out as easy as your think is all I am saying.
    1.0 ♂ 2010 Spider BP 'Dante'
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