FECAL SAMPLE 101
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.