When sending samples to Camelid Veterinary Services, please ensure that you use the appropriate submission form (either for owners or vets).
Camelid Veterinary Services is proud to be able to offer the optimal diagnostic method for identifying gastrointestinal parasite eggs and coccidia in Camelids – the Modified Stoll’s test. In addition to providing the results of testing, interpretation of the findings will be provided on the basis of information provided. Your vet will also receive a copy of my report and recommendations. To make life even easier, we’ve put together our Faecal Sample Mailing Kits to order so that you have everything you need to hand to package your samples safely and send them to us for processing! (Just add gloves…!)
It is important that the correct procedure is performed for identifying parasite eggs in camelid faeces. Generally, camelids are a lot more susceptible to parasite problems than other species and may be clincally affected at lower levels of infestation. I recommend the Modified Stoll’s test as this is a lot more sensitive than a standard McMaster’s test or passive float: this is also the test most recommended by camelid vets all over the world. The McMasters’ test uses a 1:100 dilution and is therefore only able to pick up faecal egg counts down to 100 epg (eggs per gram), 50epg in some labs – the state laboratory in the UK (APHA) offer a modified McMaster’s test which is sensitive down to 10epg. The Modified Stoll’s test is sensitive down to 5epg: it is also better at detecting larger and denser eggs such as Nematodirus and Trichuris eggs (both of these produce lower numbers of eggs than other worms so lower egg counts can be much more significant and may be missed by other diagnostic methods) and also Eimeria macusaniensis oocysts. The reason the Modified Stoll’s test is better at detecting lower egg counts and the larger eggs is because it incorporates double centrifugation and uses a concentrated sugar solution.
Please note that standard faecal tests, including the Modified Stoll’s, will normally not detect fluke eggs although with the concentrated sugar solution, some eggs may float – the optimal test for detection of liver fluke is the Sedimentation Test that can be asked for separately but it is important to realise that a negative test does not mean your animals are clear of fluke. Because it adds quite a lot of cost onto regular faecal screening, this test is most useful for diagnostics in an animal where liver fluke is a clinical concern.
Pricing information (subject to VAT):
|• 1-4 samples||£25 per faecal sample|
|• 5-10 samples||£22 per faecal sample|
|• 11-18 samples||£19 per faecal sample|
|• More than 18 samples||£16 per faecal sample|
***IMPORTANT! Please or call CVS before sending samples. Although we will normally be available to receive and process samples, there may be times that we plan other activities and may not be in the office to receive samples, so we would prefer to know to expect them. In addition, if you wish to send more than 4 samples for screening purposes, it is best to book this in the lab diary so that we can ensure that samples are received and processed efficiently and can provide the results as soon as possible after receipt.
Camelid-Specific Faecal Testing Service
The Modified Stoll’s method will be used for all faecals: this is the most sensitive test available for detecting worm egg burdens in camelids. A minimum of 2g is required for testing, equivalent to 4-6 adult faecal beans (but try to include more than this just in case repeat testing is required).
Instructions for submission:
- CALL OR EMAIL ME FIRST to book a day for me to receive samples!! It’s usually not a problem, but just to make sure that we are here to receive and process them!
- Collect samples from individual alpacas: no pooled samples.
- Collect samples that have been freshly voided (and observed!) so that you know who they are from. Closing the alpacas into a small area for half an hour and then letting them out again can be a good way to get them to poop on demand as they tend to go on release – be ready though with labelled pots, or release small numbers of animals at a time! Alternatively you can collect samples directly from the rectum using a well-lubricated glove – you may want to ask your vet to show you how to do this safely. You should be able to collect enough faecal material by inserting only two fingers through the anus and this should be well-tolerated by the alpaca or llama if restrained appropriately.
- Place the sample into a labelled sample pot. Label the sample with the animal identification (name or number) and the date of collection. Do not send samples in plastic bags or gloves tied in knots. We can provide sample pots if required – available on request.
- Please body condition score the alpaca or llama at the time of collection (I will assume that you are using a scale of 1-10 unless you state otherwise so please make this clear). Including the BCS information on your submission, along with the ages of animals from whom samples have been submitted, allows a more meaningful interpretation of the results. Please also note on the submission form if you have any particular concerns (eg recent weight loss, diarrhoea, soft stool etc …) about individual animals or groups. Continue on a separate sheet of paper if necessary.
- Place all samples inside a gripseal-type bag (a specimen bag with document wallet is included in the Faecal Kit available from us). If sending any liquid samples, include absorbant material in the packaging such that any spillages will be soaked up. The Post Office will not deliver soiled packages as they are a health hazard.
- Complete the appropriate Submission Form (sample submitted via vet OR owner) and include in the document pouch of the specimen bag.
- Place specimen bag and documents inside a box for posting.
- There are very strict regulations for sending biological specimens in the post or by courier services and it is necessary to comply with these. Details can be found at the following link: https://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/Guidance-Document-Infectious-Substances-171012.pdf
- Alternatively, you can just order a pre-labelled box from us together with leakproof sample pots, submission form, labels and specimen bags and remove all this hassle!
- Send samples by Special Delivery for next day delivery at the lab (no need to select the option for before 9am!) – this avoids sample deterioration due to delays in transit.
- Address for sending samples:
Camelid Veterinary Services Ltd
The Old Barracks
TIPS for Faecal Screening
- Do not pool samples from multiple individuals because the information obtained by pooling samples is not useful. I will not process samples pooled from multiple individuals.
- For faecal screening, you should test 10% of the herd or 10 animals, whichever is the greatest number: if you have fewer than 10 animals test all of them. However, the greater the proportion of the herd that you test, the better the quality of the information that you have in order to design your parasite control strategy. Select individuals that are skinny, have been losing weight, or younger animals especially those aged 6 -18 months – these are more likely to have higher egg counts so you are more likely to see what is present in the herd.