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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

For those of you that do the fecal testing are you doing the counts using a McMaster Chamber/Slide to try and get an accurate number of the eggs/oocysts or are you using a test tube with flotation solution and placing the eggs/oocysts that rise to the top directly onto a slide to judge through experience what you should expect to see with a healthy or infected bird and then decide whether treatment is necessary?

These McMaster chamber's aren't cheap, the acrylic is over £40 and I can't find many places that sell them in the UK, any recommendations on where to get one?

I've also been reading about the various modified version's of the McMaster count. Some use a centrifuge to separate the debri in the poop from the flotation solution/egg's and oocysts but that was used when examining goat poop. Is there much in the way of debri when preparing a pigeon poop sample after the mixed poop and flotation solution is sieved (Obviously that depends on the diet of the animal)?

Also, some of the modified McMaster method's use varying dilution ratio's. If you dilute too much the final result won't be as accurate but a strong dilution may result in too much debris which will make it more difficult to complete an accurate count, what are using?

Flotation solution with a specific gravity of 1.2 or a little higher?

Thanks
 

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Normally, I do a simple fecal floatation test where I mix stool with cold DI water in approximately a 50:50 ratio and leave the sample still for approximately 10m. I then skim the surface with a reticle slide prior to observation. I use a reticle slide to assist in the identification process, as you may know the oocysts tend to appear the same for the most part, but vary in size depending on species.

I never had need of performing a count myself, but I will look into the chamber slide and various methods tomorrow in vet lab manuals, etc. I may want a gridded siide for performing simple WBC's someday in lieu of outsourcing labwork or purchasing a Siemens hematology diagnostic unit that would break the bank.

If any helminth oocysts are present in any fecal floats, this warrants treatment.

Doing counts to estimate number of parasites is only an approximate as some ascarids and larger helminths may shed hundreds of oocysts per a single female adult, and the count may also vary by nutrient availability, by species, or by age. So, as of yet, I have not attempted a count.
 

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Since I only deal with small birds, the need for an exact count is generally unnecessary for dose calculation as it would be for large farm animals.

Right now, I am looking at https://www.rvc.ac.uk/Review/Parasitology/EggCount/Principle.htm

Good info. Thanks.

I hope someone else here on the forum has a better answer.
 

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I will have to use a floatation fluid in lieu of cold DI water to get a specific gravity of 1.18-1.20 to aid in the floatation process, and to shorten the time to 5 min. instead of 10 min.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks jonrf, that's very much appreciated. :)

The link with the details of the McMaster technique and the photo's of the parisites I'll save and use as a reference.
 
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