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Old 10-15-03, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fecal samples

Hello.

I plan on taking some of my bp's feces for testing. How long can the feces be out of the snake before it is no longer viable for testing?

Thanks
Dave
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Old 10-15-03, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Put it in the fridge and try to take it withing 24 to 36 hours from when it's made.
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Old 10-15-03, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It depends if it is preserved in SAF solution or if it is just on its own. I'll assume your talking about on its own, but correct me if I'm wrong.

The sooner the better. Try for under 3 days. That gives you enough in case he goes right before the weekend. Store it in a plastic baggy in the refrigerator until then. Do not freeze the sample.
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Old 10-15-03, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks folks!

One last question. Doesn't refrigeration kill and parasites or bacterial in the feces?
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Old 10-15-03, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah ... but they dont need to be alive to test ...they look for remanents of the bacterium ... so dont worry
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Old 10-15-03, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bacteria is not killed by refrigeration or even by freezing in many cases. They use refrigeration to preserve and even help grow cultures. Freezing will however, kill parasites and eggs, but refrigeration will help to preserve them until testing time.
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Old 10-15-03, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't refrigeration kill the coccidia protozoa?

When I was getting my collection of chameleons tested for that parasite, it was imperative that I DID NOT place any fecal samples in the fridge until I could run them up to my vet. I was specifically told too, once the poops got to my vet, I had to inform the techs there not to refrigerate the samples until they had a few moments to run the smear.

Food for thought.

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Old 10-16-03, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends if you are doing a fecal smear or a floatation...It also depends on what you are looking for...with a floatation most parasitic oocysts(eggs) are what you find, refrigerated or not. But smears will find live bacteria and other pathogens that need relatively fresh(24-48 hr) samples.
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Old 10-16-03, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Trace, refrigeration doesn't always kill coccidia but the oocyst's hard coating becomes more rigid and resistant to stains and dyes, and therefore harder to pick up in a slide. Samples less than 2 hours old that have never been refrigerated are the most accurate.

If you must refrigerate a sample, place a wet paper towel in the plastic bag to keep it from dehydrating as quickly. That will help bacteria and protozoa from going into their stasis state when confronted with cold dry conditions.
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