FE­CAL SAM­PLE 101

EQUUS - - Eq Hands On -

Your vet­eri­nar­ian asked you to col­lect a fe­cal sam­ple from your horse. Sounds easy enough, right? It is, but you need to do a few things to en­sure that you de­liver a sam­ple that is use­ful. Here are a few tips:

• Col­lect one or two small balls of ma­nure. If you col­lect less than that, the sam­ple may dry out be­fore it can be an­a­lyzed, killing par­a­site eggs be­fore your vet­eri­nar­ian can de­tect them. If the sam­ple is too large, it’s cum­ber­some for ev­ery­one. The fe­cal test it­self re­quires only a gram of ma­nure, so one or two balls is about right.

• Write the horse’s name and the date on the zi­plock bag you’ll be us­ing to store

the sam­ple. This will keep it from get­ting mixed up with other sam­ples, ei­ther in your barn or at the lab. Of course, writ­ing on the bag be­fore it is filled is much eas­ier than after­ward.

• Store the sam­ple prop­erly. Do not let the sam­ple freeze or be­come too warm. It may seem un­sa­vory, but the

best place to keep a fe­cal sam­ple un­til it can be picked up for test­ing is the re­frig­er­a­tor.

• Have it tested within a few days. Even with proper stor­age, a sam­ple that is more than three days old may not yield ac­cu­rate re­sults. If cir­cum­stances pre­vent you from de­liv­er­ing a col­lected sam­ple to your vet­eri­nar­ian, col­lect an­other for test­ing.

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