First time fecal questions

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by LMonty, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

    Finally bit the bullet and did my very first fecal. Followed the Karen Christensen link on doing fecals in 101. Very fresh stool, caught it just as it was defecated. Used a sugar solution with a little formaldehyde added (hey, I had some around LOL and thats what it said to do in the parasite book).

    Mashed, shook and diluted the stool in a 1/4 cup of fecal solution. Strained thru a tiny strainer I bought just for this purpose. Used a red top tube with the top off, filled it until there was a meniscus, then put a cover slide on it. Waited 15 min or so, then popped it on a slide and went hunting.

    Major amount of plant material on the slide. And a gazillion bubbles. Very few things I could identify as worm eggs or oocytes from all the pics in the book or online. Which makes me wonder what I'm missing.

    The strained solution was very dark, and I couldnt see through the tube. Is this normal, or does it mean my strainer isnt good enough and I should put some double cheesecloth or something similar in it next time? The pics online and in the books dont have anywhere near the amount of trash in the slides as I did, which makes me think I'm not straining enough.

    Is 15 mins enough to float them? Or should I wait longer?

    My sugar solution got a bit super saturated. It really thick, like syrup, but it did clear up when I let it stand. Theres a bit of sugar on the bottom. Should I add a bit more water slowly until that disolves, or is it OK as is?

    Yesterday I wormed everybody with cydectin and started my corid on the babies as it was 20 days since the last round. I expected to see a lot more eggs than i did, figuring it takes a couple of days to really get the counts down. Is this right, or does it work faster than I expected?

    I'd love to take some pics when I get this better and post them as I'm really not sure what I was seeing even with the book open next to me. How do you get those neat pics? Is it as simple and putting the camera lens right up to the focused in eyepiece? I swear I'm crosseyed now after messing with this :)

    I appreciate any tips or corrections, as I really am not sure what I may be doing wrong.
  2. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

    I have the same problems sometimes. I find I do better if I don't get to agressive with the straining. I pour the solution through the strainer, then I just use my spoon to gently fold it over and lightly press, repeat once or twice. Working it that way seems to hold the pulp together and don't get so much in my slide. I think it also depends on what they have been eating, some stuff floats, some stuff sinks.

    Yes, I just put my digital camera to the lens and snap away, does have to be lined up just right :)

  3. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest the risk of a bunch of folks telling me that I'm wrong, I'm gonna try to help you anyway.....I been wrong before, so no big deal with me.

    First thing I would do is try the Epsom salt solution for floatation. 2. Cut your amount of fecal matter way down. Try using a small piece of poop (even BB size)....mash it up, and float it in similar fashion as you did. I don't filter mine, but it does get strained just a little by my procedure. Now, with using this small amount of poop, I do not base my findings on one test...but may check this goat AM/PM, and may check it again tomorrow. Even with using other type procedures for fecaling, I seldom use the findings of one test/check when I'm looking at it from a maintenance stand point. (stuff tends to shed off in cycles)
    Now, when we're talking about a problem like a kid with scours...I jump on the first thing I find, and treat it immediately.

    So...try adjusting your fecal verses floatation amount a little bit until you get it to where you can separate the clutter from the crap. The main thing that you want to do when you get it to where it works for you, is to try to repeat your procedure each time using your same amounts of poop/solution matter. Being consistant with your procedure, and applying your findings to each animal, and how well that animals health and production is, will give you the best case in using fecal test as a maintenance plan in controlling internal parasites in your herd.

    Hope this helps get you started in the hunt, you'll get just takes time and practice.

  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    I have only ever used Sue Reith's protocal and the salt solution she tells you how to make. Which is also in 101
  5. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

    I'm not sure about flotation times for a sugar solution. I know the specific density of the solution matters--(Karin's site calls it specific gravity). The less the difference b/w the solution and the oocysts, the longer you need to wait. Epsom Salts are what? 20+ minutes? The solution I bought from the vet is only 10 minutes.

    I used gauze--unfolded and then folded in thirds. You will see plant matter and bubbles. The hardest thing is differentiating from actual stuff you need to concern yourself with from the stuff you don't. The photos in books are probably not from a flotation, but from centrifuging the fecal.

    As a recent first-time-fecal-er, I can attest that this is harder than it looks, and getting a good result will take much more practice. I plan on taking samples to the vet again today just to compare with my result.

    As for taking photos... I have to have the lcd screen on my camera on to make sure it's right, or I'd snap 100 before I ever get it lined up right.

    FWIW from another newbie! We'll get it in time!!! :)
  6. New Member

    After the last round of questions on here and answers which included straining...I asked a parasitologist who I learned from and he's a fecal floatation :) I also think all the over the top smashing and shaking did you in :) I use a tongue depressor and simply smash berries into the vial, I don't measure my salt/water, just pour. Biggy is to do it the same way each time. I also was taught to collect your sample with an eyedropper...after your vial has set...not from the sediment from the bottom and not from the floating plant material but from right underneath the plant material and bubbles. I have done it both ways now with advice from someone I trust to simply use the slide to collect it from the top, but it has alot more matter in it that way, but the readings are the same.

    But like I said key is going to be the repetitive tests ran monthly with periodic checks on your technique with Famacha and your vet, which is what I do. Vicki
  7. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

    thanks, everyone! I will pick up some Epsom salts and use that. I had a box on the shelf, but didnt realize there was so little in it, DH must have been using it up. Figure its got to be nicer to work with than the sticy sugar solution. I think the rest of the tips will help too.

    I was thinking of doing that, taking a sample, splitting it in half and heading off to the vets with it and then checking the other half myself. Confirmation testing :) I'll get a nice glass skinny tipped eye dropper too, thats really what I need to do it the way you mention Vicki.

    I think what I really might need is contact lenses! LOL its tough to see in the eye piece with or without my glasses on.
  8. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

    there should be a dial on your microscope that helps you set the contrast. Believe me when I say...I HAVE to have the contrast set because once I take my glasses's hard for me to even find the blasted microscope, but I can see the eggs with the contrast set.
  9. New Member

    That is my biggest problem I have never really had a lesson that included how to work a microscope, and my worse vision now that I am over 50. I really play with the knobs not really uderstanding what they do, just knowing I can see through don't touch it! With mine being the college microscope or when someone goes to nursing gets touched alot. Vicki