Fecal Parasite Examination

AVL provides fecal parasite examination by a salt solution/centrifugation method. (AVL provides collection container for use in this procedure.)

AVL’s procedure for fecal examination follows the recommendations provided by the companion animal parasite council (CAPC).

1. Gross examination

  1. Before submission of feces to AVL, the veterinarian or technician should conduct a gross examination for presence of blood, mucus, intact worms, or tapeworm segments.

2. Sample Size (very important)

  1. Specimen size should be at least 1 gram of formed feces (approx. 1 tablespoon). For soft feces: 2 grams; for slurry-like feces: 4 grams; for liquid feces: 6 grams should be submitted.
  2. Inadequate sample size (ex: fecal loop or very small sample) may result in false negative results.


  1. Well mixed feces with a salt solution poured into centrifugation tubes. The tube is spun near full, removed from the centrifuge and a meniscus is formed. A cover slip is placed and allowed to sit a minimum of 20 minutes before reading.

The outlined method as employed by AVL, upon recommendation by the CAPC, provides accurate fecal parasite examinations. At times, other examination/methods are needed, including direct saline smears for giardia, Baerman funnel method for lung worms and antigen testing for giardia/cryptosporidia.