The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Help with fecal testing
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  


115 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2012 :  4:32:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just wondering if anyone has a sheet showing the steps when testing fecal. I have had all the "stuff", microscope, centrifuge, test tubes, tea strainers, and the liquid from the vet to float it in. I took a class from the Bowers about 4 years ago, and now I just need a little refresher. Can anyone help?

Kathie Mecham
Ace of Hearts Alpacas
West Haven, Utah


3320 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2012 :  8:26:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nyala Farm Fecal Protocol (use at your own risk check results with your vet)

How I do them now step by step (Iíve modified this as Iíve taken more classes)

Make Sugar float:

Mix 12 ounces of water with 1 pound of sugar heat until itís clear (this is usually right when it starts to simmer) let it cool. Sugar float supposedly works better than salt float for emac donít know if this is true.

Get some poop 8 beans I keep plastic bags and a sharpie in my pocket at all times. (Itís better to weigh the beans with a small precision scale different sources say from 1-3 grams) If an alpaca goes Iím ready. You can also go in and get a sample. You need gloves (obviously) and lube. Have someone hold the alpaca and very very very gently insert a couple fingers and pull out some beans. You can turn the glove inside out but itís easier to just place these in a plastic bag.

Once you have the sample

mush it up in a plastic bag with 20 ccs of float
Strain it through a tea strainer into a Dixie cup
Pour into tubes do not overfill (we use 10 cc tubes)
Centrifuge for 15 minutes
Set to float add a tiny bit more float until it extends above the edge of the tube by a little
Drop on a cover slip
Wait at least one hour before looking at the slide. Here is an important point different parasites take different times to float. I find you see all the kinds present at about an hour but you donít get the best reflection of totals for emac then. Emac float is longer (even over night). Strongyles will start to sink overnight but may also need a bit more time. Missing what is there can be a terrible error to make.
Pick up the cover slip and drop the cover slip on a slide.
Look at the slide systematically scanning with your mechanical stage (up down over up down over). Count the eggs present.
This will not give you an the degree of accuracy you will get in a quantitative fecal like you would get from a lab but it will give you a sense of what is present. You may want to split a sample and send it to a lab and do it yourself a few times to get a sense of how your numbers compare to the labs. This technique will not float giardia or crypto. If you suspect those, the samples must be sent to a lab like Cornell (a vetís office typically canít float these either).

Supplies needed to run your own fecals:

Microscope with moveable stage
Centrifuge (you can get one used on ebay, we have a HAMILTON BELL VANGUARD V6500 it spins 6 tubes at a time we paid around $45 for it used years ago they are going for around $100 now. You do NOT want a mini-centrifuge you need one that holds 10cc tubes. Some folks say you get better results with a swinging bucket type centrifuge although at least one vet I talked to said it didnít matter.
Cover slips
Tea strainer (keep it out of the kitchen) I get them at the dollar store
Small Plastic bags
Tubes (can be re-useable)
Dixie cups
Rack for holding tubes upright (box the tubes come in works fine you donít have to buy one)
Bleach for clean-up

Great book: Veterinary Parasitology Reference Manual
By: William J Foreyt

There are some good website with nice pictures.

Here is a nice link to things that look like parasites but are not:


D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
Go to Top of Page


777 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2012 :  11:35:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pepperina's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use the same method as our Government testing laboratory (had training there too). We use a Whitlock counting chamber

I find it quicker as I only have to wait a few minutes for parasites to float to the top of the counting chamber. McMasters Method allows me to determine eggs per gram which is useful. I bought a cheap weighing scale for 4g of poop on ebay. Make my own floatation fluid like Ann (Nyala) either salt or sugar.

We use 4g poop + 50ml Fluid and multiply answer by 27 to get eggs per gram (calculations on above website).

Pepperina Alpacas Forest Hill QLD Australia
Ph: +61754654232
Go to Top of Page


1291 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2012 :  12:22:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit highpeaksalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use the exact same method as Ann, but I never let it sit less than 3-4 hours.sometimes i do two tests of the same fecal and check one after 3-4 hours and let one sit longer...even overnight. Only once have I found something in the overnight one that was not present after 4 hrs.

Debbie Potter
High Peaks Alpacas
Wilmington, NY

Go to Top of Page

elden harms

112 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2012 :  11:30:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Page three of this document has simple fecal instructions:

Elden Harms
Token Creek Alpacas LLC
Sun Prairie WI
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation © 2000 - 2009 AlpacaNation LLC Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000


Our family has 8,740 breeders, with more joining every day.

Join Now!