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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Collecting and sending fecals for examination:

Collecting feces for a dart frog fecal exam should be fairly simple to accomplish. First you have to recognize what frog poop looks like. Some are nice semi-firm tiny sausage shaped masses (this is ideal for collection) They can range in color from red to brown to black. Dark brown is most common. Some frogs pass very loose stool that may be watery. Fecal material that is repeatedly misted will obviously begin to soften and run. Fecal material that is runny can be a sign of disease, but may be normal in some instances. Runny material is more difficult to collect and package.

Darts in quarantine can have their samples collected and examined individually if housed individually. Transporting an animal overnight to a QT container should allow easy retrieval of fresh fecal matter if obtaining such in their usual quarters has proven to be a challenge.

When collecting a sample for testing, you should try to collect about 3 of the freshest looking feces in each vivarium that you want tested. If the vivarium has one frog or 5 frogs, it doesn’t really mater. Just collect 3-5 fresh looking fecal matter. Frogs housed together will eventually carry the same parasites [if parasites are present].

To collect the feces, it is recommended one use a clean plastic spoon or knife. Try to pick the fecal matter off of a leaf or paper towel or rock or whatever without getting too much of any other debris. Place three or so feces from each tank into a SMALL, AIRTIGHT container. Film canisters work great as do tiny zip-lock type baggies. A small amount (1 inch square) of moist paper towel should be added to the container to keep the feces from drying out.

Once you have your specimens collected and contained, label the individual containers, and ship them out ASAP to the vet running the fecals. Ideally you should ship next-day delivery or 2nd day. Try and collect the samples the day of, or the day prior to shipping.

It is recommended that you make prearrangement's with the examining Vet prior to sending the samples, so that they can be prepared for them when they arrive. You should also ask the examining Vet if she/he has any specific instructions for their preferred manner of shipping, collecting ect.

There is usually a nominal fee associated with any qualified examination.

For additional information regarding when to test, if one should test, how often to test, and recommendations from ASN see these links below. Additional information can be obtained using the search feature of this forum browser.
[add links here. Need to search, and select]

Contributors:
Rich Frye
David Frye, DVM
Shawn Harrington, MD
Jason Smith

*if you have any additional information to add please contact the DB staff or post here.

Good pics and write up from Jason
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/ge...ent/36069-collecting-fecal-samples-101-a.html
 

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Hello,

I am also a total newbie to the hobbie and the forum, but would it really be that bad to list vet's contact info at least any that ask to be listed? Then no vet is singled out, maybe just list by alpha. I mean, isn't the the idea of the forums to inform, help, sell, trade, buy etc. I think giving us options on which vet to contact would be great. Thanks for listening, please don't bash the new guy :).

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #4
no it wouldnt.

but.....

it isnt appropriate here. contact info changes. links to websites change. a simple google search or an inquiry to the boardmembers will get someone up to date info anytime...

Pics needed:
1. fecal matter example
2. fecal matter being collected and deposited in appropriate container.
3. ready to mail out/ box ect

nothing more
 

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Collecting and Sending Fecals


Collecting feces for a dart frog fecal exam should be fairly simple to accomplish. Follow these steps to get the job done right.

1 - Before you begin

It is recommended that you make pre-arrangement's with the examining veterinarian prior to sending the samples, so that they can be prepared for them when they arrive. Some veterinarians are closed on various days etc. You should also ask the examining Vet if she/he has any specific instructions for their preferred manner of shipping, collecting etc. Establishing a relationship is key. There is usually a nominal fee associated with any qualified examination.
note: If using a local veterinarian they may require to see the animal based on laws in your state.

Another thing that may help you out, especially if your frogs are in quarantine containers, is to change the bedding (sphagnum, paper towels, etc.) 2 or 3 days prior to your ship date. This allows you to collect the freshest feces. Darts in quarantine can have their samples collected and examined individually if housed individually. Transporting an animal overnight to a QT container should allow easy retrieval of fresh fecal matter if obtaining such in their usual quarters has proven to be a challenge. It will also allow you to isolate the animal until the sample returns, facilitating treatment if needed.


2 - Supplies





You will need the following:
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Ziplock bag
  • Pen
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic Spoon


Cut approximately a 1" x 1" square of paper towel.



Label your Ziplock bag with what tank they came from and the date. For instance this says, D. Gal (for galactonotus) and 1-12-09 for the date. It is VERY important to label your bags especially if you are sending multiple samples. Keep a record on your end what you sent and when as well.


3 - Keep it as sterile as possible.
Use the hand sanitizer or wash with soap before you begin your collection of feces. Use it before you put on latex gloves and after you take off your latex gloves.


Don latex gloves (Warning: Latex gloves can cause an allergic reaction, if you are allergic to banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi fruit or passion fruit avoid using latex. There are alternative NON LATEX gloves).


Change gloves, collecting spoon, ziplock bag and remember to hand sanitize in between each tank you are collecting feces from. AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION. Dispose of gloves and spoon in a proper area away from your frog room or tanks.

An easy way to try to keep everything clean is to take your gloves off inside out/rolling them off your hand while holding the spoon.





4 - Feces

First you have to recognize what frog excrement looks like. Some are nice semi-firm tiny sausage shaped masses (this is ideal for collection). They can range in color from red to brown to black. Dark brown is most common. Some frogs pass very loose stool that may be watery. Fecal material that is repeatedly misted will obviously begin to soften and run. Fecal material that is runny can be a sign of disease, but may also be normal in some instances. Runny material is more difficult to collect and package.






It is real easy to find on white paper towels.

5 - Feces collection

"When collecting a sample for testing, you should try to collect about 3 of the freshest looking [feces] in each vivarium that you want tested. If the vivarium has one frog or 5 frogs, it doesn’t really mater. Just collect 3-5 fresh looking [samples]. Frogs housed together will eventually carry the same parasites [if parasites are present]. If you just mixed a bunch of frogs together from different sources, be certain to test again at a later date – after all the frogs have had enough time to contract the various parasites that they may have been exposed to. It can take up to 2 months for certain parasites to show up in feces, but most appear with 4-6 weeks after exposure.

To collect the feces, I recommend using a clean plastic spoon or knife. Try to pick the [sample] off of a leaf or paper towel or rock or whatever without getting too much of any other debris. Place three or so feces from each tank into a SMALL, AIRTIGHT container. Film canisters work great as do tiny zip-lock type baggies. A small amount (1 inch square) of moist paper towel should be added to the container to keep the feces from drying out." -David M. Frye, DVM:




Place them on the moist 1" square paper towel. Then place them into Ziplock bag.



6 - Shipping

Ship samples ASAP via next-day delivery. 2nd day does work but anything longer than that may be harder to make a diagnosis.

Fold the Ziplock bag in thirds and placed it inside a folded up letter explaining the situation (Your Name, Address, Email, Phone) and what you want done. This will avert any confusion when the Vet staff get the letter or box.

Various shipping methods are available. Below are sample cardboard envelopes available at the USPS free of charge. Other mail carriers can be used as well.


Express Mail Next Day Post Office to Addressee


Express Mail Legal Size Envelope



Additional information on fecal and quarantine procedures can be found here.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/feedback-questions/33373-sticky-sending-fecals-examination.html
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/ge...t/26685-asn-quarantine-medical-protocols.html
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/be...ning-quite-probably-biggest-mistake-made.html


References:
[ASN quarantine and testing protocols]

Contributers:
Jason Smith (Jason) Main Author
Kyle (kyle1745)
Shawn Harrington, MD (sports_doc)
David Frye, DVM
Rich Frye

If you have anything you would like to see added or changed in this guide please send me or a mod a PM.

Last Updated: 1/30/2009
 

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Ok I converted Jason's great info into our format and moved the pictures to our server for speed and consistency.

Im not sure this needs anymore work but lets discuss before we post it. Again great infor Jason and a very good write up.

Also I am pondering splitting the care sheets and artiles just to clean things up a bit so let me know your thoughts in that as well. My idea is to basically make Articles a sub forum under care sheets.
 

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Since this was my 1st time sending fecals (Since I am starting from scratch again, I want to have a clean collection) I mailed it in a ziplock bag. I am wondering if vets prefer a film canister and how much the actual shipping is. I would guess it would be more, but I was not sure. That could be added if someone knows the answer.
 
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