***Does ANYONE do occasional fecal checks 4 parasites thru Vet?***

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Suellyn, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Just curious!!!!

    I have read a lot of posts on the use of dewormers both prophylactically, and in sick (suspected infested) birds, and it is a topic of interest to me.

    I know that $$ for testing is obviously a consideration, and also lack of "avian vets" (esp. those with poultry experience).

    But my thought process is: Most Vets (and Vet Techs!), avian or not, can identify a parasitic infestation in a fecal sample. EXACT SPECIES may not be familiar to them, but general identification probably is (coccidia species, ascarids, tapeworm species, etc.), and certainly "parasitic load" (how many??) would be evident as well.

    To me, this info would be very valuable and give general guidance as to how aggressive I should be with various meds and husbandry practices... AND clue me in as to whether or not my efforts are working!!

    And if a Vet could run a "group sample" fecal once a year or so for $10 or $15, I think it would ultimately be a money SAVER, when compared to wasted or inneffective meds, bird loss from unidentified infestations, etc.

    Or is $10 - $15 to run a fecal sample in-house at the local Vet's a pipe dream, serious underestimation of cost??

    Thoughts or experiences anyone? [​IMG]
     
  2. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    Fifteen dollars?


    HA!

    The local vet charged me $40.00 for a fecal sample on ONE chicken and would not release the results until I brought her in for an exam ($55.00).

    Good question. How many bug eggs are too many?
    I have a microscope, a very good one. I am wondering if it is possible to learn how to do this yourself.
     
  3. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthWestern PA
    It is absolutely possible, I am a vet tech by degree, but have been working as a zookeeper (mammal dept) for 15+ yrs at a major accredited zoo... believe me, if I can learn parasitology on all the exotic animals we deal with, ANYONE can [​IMG] !!!

    And really, sometimes it DOES come down to "I dunno... but it's SOME kind of ascarid.. here is the most reasonable treatment options, and we'll re-check it in a few weeks to see if it worked...."

    Yes, I was afraid of the expense factor... I understand the need for an animal being physically present for diagnosis or dispensing drugs/meds, but a LOT of vets will run a fecal check on dog or cat without physical exam... ???????????????????

    I have all the respect in the world for veterinary medicine and am in NO WAY trying to suggest anything unethical, but holyheck $95 to look at chicken poo?????????????????????? Oh my... maybe find a new vet? or is this on par with what others are experiencing???
     
  4. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    Hi Suellyn,

    Yes, that vet was fired. I wondered why his parking lot was always empty...

    Still, pretty expensive for just the test.
     
  5. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I totally "get" that a Vet has to make a living (not to mention pay off many years of medical school loans!!), and have several Veterinarian friends that are highly skilled & ethical people, but need to maintain "overhead costs" in order to keep their practice functioning and OPEN, but $95 is still a bit much for running a fecal.... (!!!!)

    Maybe I will shop around in my area to see what I find as far as Vets and prices to run fecals on my chickies, as well as policies for fecal checks... If an office visisit is required, price, etc..

    I live in the Southern Suburbs of Pittsbugh, PA... I think my cost of living is probably pretty "midline", not super expensive or super cheap...

    Anyone ELSE running parasite checks?????? Cost??? Benefits??? Or just "pass" and treat prophylactically and/or based on experience/educated guess??
     
  6. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, I do a fecal check every 2 years, although it prolly isn't necessary. My vet charged me $17.00 for the last one with nothing observed.

    I add wormguard plus broad spectrum to the feed, and I want to be sure it is working due to it's cost. My flock also free ranges, consuming a ton of bugs and worms.

    bigzio
     
  7. jaybme

    jaybme Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have done my own. I do not identify but can see if there are eggs in the float.

    We rescued a dog that had diarrhea, and come to find out she had coccidia. My chickens were free running then and got diarrhea.

    Pretty simple test:

    Mix water and salt until no more salt will dissolve in the water- usually a couple spoonfuls in a half cup or warm water. (making a saturated solution)

    Scoop fresh poo into test tube, add salt water about half way and stir to dissolve poo. Then the tricky part- add water until it is bulging just ABOVE the lip of the tube.

    Let it sit 10 min or more, and then rest a microscope slide or if desperate a piece of tape over the top to gather anything floating for another 5-10 min. Remove from tube and use microscope to observe. You might even get by with a magnifier, but you really need about 10x to see.

    You may find eggs, worms or just debris, and the trick is to know what looks like dirt and what looks like an egg or worm. [​IMG]
     
  8. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    Thank you so much for posting this, jaybme!
    I'll try it tomorrow.

    I was under the impression that most free-ranging birds had some parasites, it was really a matter of how many. Do you worm when you find any eggs at all? Is there a magic number that says there are too many eggs, and your chickens are in danger?
     
  9. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yep, that about sums us a "saline float" fecal exam!!

    In my experience (& others may differ!), there was no "magic number" that determined treat or NO treatment... basically, if we saw it (even if in just 1 or 2 fields of vision), we treated. We actually get a lot of "NOPS" (No Ova or Parasites Seen), even with animals that have outdoor exhibitry & constant exposure to everything from starlings to raccoons... So anything seen was determined worth treatment. It is often easy to tell "parasitic load", though... I have seen fields of vision under the microscope CROWDED with many, many, parasite eggs, plus take into consideration the general condition (& symptoms) of the animal.

    However, something ELSE to keep in mind, is that sometimes an animal can have parasites, but the parasites are in a "non-shedding" life phase, if you suspect worms/parasites but get "NOPS" reading, it is often helpful to recheck in a couple weeks.... !!
     
  10. Kimiko

    Kimiko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FYI because of risks of zoonosis and liability issues, many vets now send their fecals to the lab for centrifugation and don't even have in house fecal solution. (I haven't worked in a clinic that ran their own fecals for a few years). Cost to the vet for a fecal is $15-25 per sample depending on their lab, volume they send out, area of practice etc.

    Most vets would probably send the sample out even if they could run it because they are unfamiliar with chicken parasites.

    A saline smear or gram stain will give you bacteria, but you'd have to do a float to catch coccidia, nematodes etc. A complete fecal exam would usually include both.
     

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