Fecal Testing

Why invest in doing your own fecal parasite testing?
It will make preliminary testing on the farm very easy so that one can respond quickly and treat the specific parasite found.

The idea is to save:

  • Treatment by being specific and not treating broadly with the possibility of under or over treatment
  • Time of sending out fecals
  • Save $ over having the vet do them or send them away to a lab

Our instruments are imported directly from one of China’s largest medical instrument manufacturers. They have a reputation for excellent quality.

Modified Wisconsin Fecal
Parasite Egg Flotation Starter Kit

Rolling Hill
Parasite Test

Materials provided to complete 72 tests with Fecal Parasite Egg Flotation Starter Kit:
1. High specific gravity sugar flotation solution made specifically
for hard to float ruminant parasite eggs such as
E mac (Eimeria macusaniensis – a nasty form of coccidia)
2. dispensing bottle and syringe
3. tea strainer
4. reusable plastic cups
5. tongue depressors
6. reusable tapered bottomed centrifuge tubes
7. test tube rack
8. standard microscope slides and 22mm cover slips
9. laminated step by step instruction card and photo guide
to internal parasites

Equipment required:
1. Fecal Parasite Egg Flotation Starter Kit
2. Centrifuge (Horizontal or swinging bucket type preferred)
3. Microscope (Binocular with 4X, 10X and 40X Objectives)


  1. Turn-key kit design: All components are matched for 72 sample tests, you will not be out of one component or another when the time comes to testing your samples.
  2. Easy to use dispensing syringe makes measuring an accurate volume of sugar solution effortless and reproducible.
  3. No obnoxious chemical preservatives or solutions to deal with.
  4. Most components are reusable and easily cleaned with soap and water.
  5. Replacement kits available & include only disposable components (Preserved Sugar Solution, slides, cover slips and stir sticks).
  6. Sugar Solution is pre-made with the correct specific gravity so there is no guesswork or sugar mix to make. It contains a preservative that will prevent the growth of mold and bacteria and provide for a long shelf life. In addition, cover slipped sample tubes and slides can be stored for several days in the refrigerator before reading.

Our parasite screening kit has all the supplies you will need to perform your own fecal flotation screening tests.

Please understand the intention here is to assist the breeder in screening their animals for parasites in the feces. We do not expect you to be microbiologists or pathologists. Should you identify a problem, you can then decide your best course of action depending on your level of expertise. You may feel competent with treating what you identify, or you can submit the remainder of your sample to your vet or state lab for further study.

Equipment needed to complete the parasite screening:
Parasite Screening Kit including instructions & parasite egg photos Microscope (40x-400x magnification) best for eggs and oocysts
Centrifuge (recommended but optional)
Flotation Solution (recipe included)

The screening kit includes guidelines that will give you a general idea as to how to use fecal examination to determine parasitic disease loads. Remember, this is only an aid & will take a little practice.

As a breeder we are not experts at parasitology. If you have any questions, consult your vet or state lab for a definitive diagnosis of what you are seeing.

All animals have low levels of parasites. Sometimes high levels do not show up in fecal exams. You should examine 10-20 head or 25% of each grazing unit. We do not want to treat our animals blindly.

There are different treatments for various parasites. In some cases, a change of environment may work. When worming medications are used, be sure to use one that is effective against the parasite that you are treating. Always consult with your veterinarian on a complete parasite management program.

Wash all reusable items with hot soapy water and a dash of bleach. Dispose of slides in your sharps container.

Our fecal parasite testing kits use a conical bottom tube. Research has shown that the conical bottom tubes provides better results in fecal parasite testing however they are hard to clean the fecal matter out of the bottom tip of the tube. You’ll want one of these brushes for sure!
For cleaning test tubes and narrow mouth bottles. White natural bristles with black nylon tuft. Twisted wire handle with loop for hanging.

Microscope Slides (72/Box)

These economical blank glass microscope slides are used in fecal parasite testing for looking at fecal parasite eggs under a microscope. For use with either the Wisconsin or Rolling Hills kits.

Microscope cover glasses (100/Box)

Manufactured of pure white, perfectly clear and chemically resistant glass. Used in fecal parasite testing for looking at fecal parasite eggs under a microscope. For use with either the Wisconsin or Rolling Hills kits.

Various Parasites

ParasitesMost common camelid fecal parasites
Courtesy of Stephen R. Purdy, DVM
Director of Camelid Studies
Dept. of Veterinary & Animal Sciences
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Some valuable Fecal Parasite tips
Camelid fecals need to be done a specific way to ensure a better chance of catching hard to float parasite eggs like the E. Mac Coccidia (Eimeria Macusaniensis) eggs.

The specific gravity of the sugar solution is critical. A specific gravity of 1.27 is required to float E Mac. We offer fecal kits that include a lab made sugar solution that provides the 1.27 specific density and also contains a preservative so it won’t spoil. We also offer bottles of the float solution separately.

The other aspect of doing camelid fecals is floating the eggs properly. Vets may run camelid fecals like companion animals. This procedure under diagnoses the number of parasite eggs for camelids and will completely miss some parasite eggs. Camelid fecals are done best when spun in a centrifuge.

The type of centrifuge (fixed head vs swing bucket) as well as the amount of time to spin and sit varies with who you talk to.

Dr Steve Purdy uses a FIXED centrifuge (like our 8039), this requires the addition of float solution after spinning (the tube can’t be filled to the top since the tube will be tilted at an angle in the fixed centrifuge) and therefore requires the parasite eggs to float up through clean solution requiring more time. With a fixed head centrifuge after spinning at 3000 rpm for 10 minutes you will place your fecal samples in your test tube rack and top off with sugar solution. Then place a cover glass on top and wait 10 additional minutes to have any parasite eggs float up to the cover glass. Lastly you will lift the cover glass straight up and place it on a microscope slide to begin viewing.

My preferred fecal parasite protocol developed after working w/ Dr Purdy, my vet, other breeders, lots of research & some trail and error:
1) collect fecal matter
a. directly from the subject animal is best using a lubricated and gloved index and middle finger, (this is a two person job, I haven’t figured out
how to work on the fecal producing end w/o someone else holding onto the other end!) 2-3 beans should be sufficient.
b. collect fresh fecal matter that you watch deposited on the pile, make sure you collect only fecal matter from the animal you want to test
c. collect mushy poop from the pile as you find it. This is less desirable because one doesn’t know for sure who to treat. I’ve been fooled
thinking I knew who was the mushy pooper only to treat the suspected offender and continue to find mushy poop!
2) place approx 3 grams of fecal matter (someone described this as about the size of a sugar cube, I’ll never think of sugar cubes in the same way
but the visual size reference works for me) in a plastic cup
3) add 15-20ml of modified Wisconsin sugar float solution and stir to break up beans and release parasite eggs. The beans and sugar solution
should be mix until the resulting slurry is even consistency of a very thick tea (I know another ruinous analogy!)
4) pour the tea through the strainer into another plastic cup. Use the stir stick to work the slurry around in the strainer pushing the liquid through
into the cup. Discard the heavy material that remains in the strainer.
5) place two empty 15ml conical bottom test tubes in the swing bucket centrifuge. Fill one to nearly full with tap water as a balancer.
6) pour the fecal tea liquid from the cup into the empty 15ml conical bottom test tube. Fill the tube until the liquid is brimming so that there is a
slightly positive meniscus at the top of the tube. Add more sugar solution with the dispensing bottle and syringe. Pour the liquids into the test
tube slowly and down the inside of the tube to reduce the instance of air bubbles as much as possible. Remember to leave to tube about ½” empty on the top.
7) turn the centrifuge to 3000 rpm and set the timer for 10 minutes. Go do some chores.
8)remove the test tubes and place them in your tube rack. Top of each tube with a meniscus  and place a cover slip on the tops. Go do some more chores and wait 10 additional minutes.
9) the fecal can be read now. If you want to allow the tube to sit and want to spin more samples the tube with the cover glass in place can be
moved to the tube rack.
10) when you’re ready to read the fecal prepare a glass slide by wiping off any visible dirt and hold the slide near the test tube. With a smooth
straight up motion, lift the cover slip off the tube and place onto the glass slide.
11) place the glass slide under the microscope.
I prefer the LLE400 for its binocular eyepieces (I have a hard time using just one eye to focus or squinting.
I prefer the LLE400 or LLE200 for their mechanical stages (much easier to make a methodical review of the slide using the X/Y knob as opposed
to using ones fingers to move the slide).
12) I use the 10x eye pieces & start w/ the 4x nose piece. The 40x combined magnification provides enough power to see any parasite eggs
while giving a large enough field of view to be able to scan the slide effectively. I move to the 10x nosepiece to look more closely at objects
of interest. Many parasites such are Nematodirus and Trichuris are easily spotted and identified with the 40x magnification. Some of the
eimerias (coccidias) are harder to identify (not E Mac however) using the 40x and I’ll switch to 100x magnification to look more closely.
I always start in the same corner and move in the same direction back and forth across the slide moving to the side after each pass.

Now you’re ready to identify any parasite eggs you might find on the slide.

I use the laminated parasite picture card provided with the modified Wisconsin fecal kit as well as other pictures of parasites I’ve collected. The Oklahoma State College of Vet Medicine has a web site with lots of pictures of parasites as well.

The same web site has a great set of pictures of “pseudoparasites” that don’t need to be treated. It is especially helpful to know what ISN’T a parasite egg too.

Your vet may be of assistance in identifying what you find as well.

Other tips:
I like to use a piece of masking tape to label the slide with the name of the animal and the date of the sample. This can be helpful info for future reference. The slides will easily keep for days and weeks although the sugar will start to crystallize again around the edges of the cover slip. The longer the cover glass and slide are left with the sugar solution in between the harder it will be to get them apart to wash the slide.

Use gloves whenever handling fecal matter and doing fecal parasite tests.

Keep glass cover slips and slides clean and dust free so that you don’t have to look though the debris later under the scope.

Reusable components including glass slide can be washed with soap and water and allowed to dry after use. Careful when handling the glass slide to reduce chance of breakage and sharp edges.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a parasitologist or a vet, not trained as either one, don’t want to be either one (at least not at this stage of my life, wish I had thought about being a vet sooner, maybe next time). I offer this info as a suggestion only. Check with your veterinarian or other trained professional for complete guidance.

Dr Purdy made a strong point during a recent seminar that we hosted: management of parasites is better that treatment. Explore ways to minimize the transference of parasites to reduce the need to treat.

The above information was reviewed by Dr Purdy for accuracy as well.

Please call me with any questions or for advice. 866-999-AVA1 (2821)

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