Best For Vets

Choosing PARATEST® with ECO Greenfix for fecal parasite testing is one of the best decisions you can make right now.

And... it works!

Centrifugal flotation is considered the gold standard for fecal parasite testing by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), but it is not the only choice available to veterinarians. Simple flotation, sedimentation and direct examination are other methods employed for testing at veterinary practices.

Why would a veterinarian consider using a different method? The unique challenges of fecal parasite testing provide insight into what motivates technicians to seek out alternatives which perform as well as centrifugal flotation without some of the inherent challenges associated with this test method.

Challenges of fecal parasite testing:

  1. Risk of underdiagnosing infections
Fecal parasite testing is often repeated if initial results do not detect parasites but symptoms are present.

  1. Fecal flotation media: All intestinal parasites cannot be reliably detected with a single fecal flotation media, even when centrifugation is used.
    • Selecting the right flotation media for the job is not an easy task, as there is no “one size fits all” option. The density of the different flotation solutions can affect parasite egg and larvae recovery. The range of densities of common canine and feline internal parasites is 1.06 to 1.20 g/mL; the desired specific gravity of a flotation solution is from 1.18 to 1.27 g/mL.
      1. The heaviest parasite eggs (whipworm ova with a density of 1.20 g/mL) may be easily missed, depending on the type of flotation media used and its specific gravity.
        Whipworm (trichuris) ova
      2. However, exclusively using the flotation media with the highest specific gravity (Sheather’s Sucrose, 1.27 g/mL) may cause more delicate parasite eggs and protozoal cysts (Giardia) to become distorted or even rupture, which prevents diagnosis.
        Giardia (cyst)
        1. A flotation media with a lower specific gravity, zinc sulfate (specific gravity of 1.18 g/mL) is recommended for isolating Giardia cysts, but is not effective in isolating whipworm ova.

    PARATEST® utilizes passive sedimentation with filtration.

    • Our patented Greenfix® solution has a specific gravity close to water (1.00g/mL), which allows sedimentation of both heavy and light eggs and oocysts.
    • A 266 micron filter is built into every PARATEST® bottle, which allows ova and parasites to pass through but holds back larger debris present in sample.
    • Greenfix® also contains an eco-friendly fixative which preserves morphology, allowing for clear identification of species present using microscopy.

  2. Sample size:
    • The likelihood of false negatives is also increased when sample size is inadequate, which may often be the case for liquid diarrhea samples or samples obtained from fecal loops during examination.
    • PARATEST® comes with a collection tool designed to collect the appropriate amount of stool required for analysis. No guesswork is required on the part of the technician!

    • The cone end of the collection shovel is used for solid waste. Two scoops are obtained, which is approximately two grams.
      • The bottle is designed with an extractor pin in the bottom. This inverted cone fits into the shovel end of the collection tool, which helps to remove all material ensuring the appropriate sample size is delivered.
    • The spoon end of the collection shovel is used for liquid samples. Six scoops are obtained, which factors in the decrease in parasitic load when liquid is present in stool (dilution effect).
  3. Nature of parasitic infection:
    • The stage or type of infection may also prevent detection.
      1. The worms may be too young to produce eggs (known as the prepatent period), or the number of eggs in the stool sample may be too low to be detected if the infection is mild and there are only a few mature parasites present.
        1. This is the reason why puppies and kittens are tested 4 times in their first year. Since they are at greatest risk of parasitic infection, frequent testing is required to detect infection at earliest possible stages to prevent long term effects.
    • Some intestinal parasites are more difficult to detect.
      • CAPC recognizes use of sedimentation technique for isolation of trematode (fluke) eggs which are dense and harder to detect using flotation with centrifugation.
        Trematode (alaria) egg
    • Some intestinal parasites produce small numbers of eggs infrequently, making it more difficult to detect infection.
      Sneaky parasites...
  4. Time Sensitivity
  5. Timing is everything. In a busy veterinary practice where a veterinary emergency can disrupt routine testing, a shortened window of opportunity to read results may mean repeating a procedure.
    Fecal flotation (passive or with centrifugation)

    • Dried out cover slips from delays in reading a test do not produce readable results, and require repeating test, which results in delays in diagnosis and cost the practice valuable materials and tech time.
    • PARATEST® Greenfix® contains an eco-friendly fixative which preserves morphology for 15 days after sample addition. This allows flexibility for lab personnel and pet owners alike.

      • Samples can be prepped and read at predetermined intervals for routine visits.
      • When a sick pet needs answers fast, results can be obtained in 15 minutes, scoop to scope!
  6. Workspace contamination
  7. Fecal flotation with centrifugation:
    There are two types of centrifuges available for use, and each one varies slightly in the way it is used.

    • Everything you need to perform the test is contained in each individually bagged test kit.
    • After sedimentation, drops are dispensed directly onto a glass slide and read.
    • Used test kits can be capped and discarded in the trash, according to your local regulations. No hazardous waste management required.
      PARATERST Bottle