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. Other than the Royal Vet College, we are the only commercial lab offering this superior testing method (see FAQs for more info). We also offer fluke testing. In addition to providing the results of testing, interpretation of the findings will be provided on the basis of information provided.

Owners can submit faecal samples to our lab directly in order to streamline the submission and reporting process. Your vet will also receive a copy of my report and recommendations. Vets are also welcome to submit samples to us for diagnostic testing or herd surveillance.

We offer a fast turnaround for sample testing and in the vast majority of cases will report your results to you on the day of receipt of samples. In order to help us provide this excellent level of service, please call or email us first to book the samples in. If your samples require urgent processing we can prioritise them in the day’s workflow and report ASAP. It’s not usually a problem, but booking them in just makes sure that we know we are to receive them. Very occasionally, we might not be around and we want to make sure that your samples will be handled and processed in a timely manner so may suggest an alternative date for non-urgent samples.

Pricing Information | Instructions & Forms for Submissions | Tips | FAQs

Pricing Information

All prices are 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
Fluke testing£15 per sample
Purchase a Faecal Bundle and SAVE!
  • Pre-pay for 25-49 faecals at £17.50 per sample
  • Pre-pay for more than 50 samples at £16 per sample
  • Send singly or in batches. Select the number of faecal samples that you realistically might use in a period of up to one year, but don’t worry, they won’t expire! If you use them all up, just renew your bundle.
  • Add fluke testing at preferential rates too if desired.
  • Contact us to arrange a Faecal Bundle Deal.

Instructions & Forms for Submission of Samples

Submission Forms

Please download & complete the relevant submission form and include in the document pouch of the specimen bag.

Instructions
  1. Complete our booking form or call or email us first to book a day for us to receive samples!! It’s usually not a problem, but just to make sure that we are here to receive and process them!
  2. Collect samples
    • Collect samples from individual alpacas: no pooled samples (see tips below)
    • Collect samples that have been freshly voided (and observed!) so that you know who they are from.
  3. Place the sample into a labelled sample pot. Label the sample with the animal identification (name or number) and the date of collection if different for individuals in the submission – otherwise just mark the date on the submission form. Do not send samples in plastic bags or gloves tied in knots. We can provide sample pots if required – you can buy our posting-ready Faecal Sample Mailing Kit with sample pots, labels, sample bag and submission form here. Just get the samples, label, fill in the form, pop them in the box and post!
  4. 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.
  5. Place all samples inside a gripseal-type bag (a specimen bag with document wallet is included in the Faecal Sample Mailing 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.
  6. Complete submission form and include in the document pouch of the specimen bag.
  7. 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: Royal Mail Guidance Document for Infectious Substances
    • 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!
  8. 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. Please note that if you are in Wales or Scotland, any samples posted by regular first class post may not arrive next day. Please send Special Delivery especially if sending on a Friday or before a holiday weekend!
  9. Address for sending samples:
    Camelid Veterinary Services Ltd
    The Old Barracks
    Lady Grove, Goring Heath
    Reading
    RG8 7NU

Tips

Tips for collecting samples
  • Close the animals into a small area for half an hour and then let them out again. This 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.
  • Do not collect samples from the floor unless you have seen the animal just void it.
  • Do not pool samples from multiple individuals because the information obtained by pooling samples is not useful. We will not process samples pooled from multiple individuals.
Tips for Herd Faecal Screening
  • Do not pool samples from multiple individuals because the information obtained by pooling samples is not useful. We 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much sample do I need to send?
  • We need a minimum of 2g of sample for our method. Aim for about 5g which is around 6-8 faecal beans if you can. If you would like fluke testing as well, we need 10g total sample.
  • We can work with less sample, for example with crias, but this increases the potential for error in the result we report to you.
This picture shows how much sample we need ideally, using our sample pots. (We can work with 2g, even less if needed, but giving us spare sample is helpful in case we need to run additional tests.)
Why is your testing method better than any others?
  • Generally, camelids are a lot more susceptible to parasite problems than other species and may be clincally affected at lower levels of infestation. The Modified Stoll’s test is a lot more sensitive than a standard McMaster’s test or passive float. The Modified Stolls test 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), 50 epg 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
  • 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. This means it takes a bit longer to do the test and also requires more equipment.
Should I do fluke testing?

Testing for fluke eggs uses a different method than the test used for a standard faecal egg count. Fluke testing requires a sedimentation test that requires several rounds of sedimentation to see the fluke eggs. Fluke only shed eggs intermittently and only when adults are present, typically this would be the case from around December to June based on the life cycle. Unless adults are present from a previous year’s life cycle, in the second half of the year, it could be that only migrating larvae are present so this is not a good time for detecting eggs. Larvae do not produce eggs. If we test for fluke, a negative test doesn’t rule out fluke: only a positive test result confirms it. Fluke testing can be used for monitoring in herds in areas where fluke is known to be a problem, alongside management changes to minimize the problem. Speak to your vet to discuss whether fluke is likely to be a problem in your herd and whether you should test or use an appropriate prevention plan. Clinical signs of fluke infections in camelids are vague: if you are concerned about liver fluke, the sedimentation test can be useful, but also have your vet evaluate the animal properly and potentially submit bloodwork as there can be alterations in liver enzymes in particular.

Why do I need to provide ages and body condition scores on the submission form?

You don’t have to do this, but this information greatly helps us to provide much more meaningful interpretation of faecal egg count results. Because of the specialist nature of what we do, we are able to provide much more detailed interpretation than other labs and this information is required in order to do so. We also find it helpful to know animal groupings, details of any particular problems being encountered, and when any recent worming was undertaken. Our submission form provides room for all this information and I recommend using this form for all submissions.

How should I send my samples?

Please send your samples by Special Delivery (by 1pm) ideally, especially when it is hot, it’s right before a bank holiday weekend, or it is approaching Christmas and the postal service is busy. You do not need to pay extra to have the samples arrive by 9am as it is likely that no-one will be there to receive the samples! If you are located in Wales or Scotland, we have encountered first class post taking up to 3 days to deliver to us which can result in sample deterioration. Once eggs hatch, they cannot be counted!

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