how do you do a smear? do you just smear it on the slide or is it more complicated?
"Decent" microscopes will only run you $60-$120 used on ebay. If you know what you are looking for, you can get something that is far more than "decent" for that price.Arklier said:Decent microscopes are expensive. One that's not a toy will run you several hundred dollars. If you're only going to be doing a few fecals, then it's better to get the vet to do it.
Homer said:"Decent" microscopes will only run you $60-$120 used on ebay. If you know what you are looking for, you can get something that is far more than "decent" for that price.Arklier said:Decent microscopes are expensive. One that's not a toy will run you several hundred dollars. If you're only going to be doing a few fecals, then it's better to get the vet to do it.
You need a 'scope that will run somewhere between 40 and 400 x, preferably up to 1000 x . Almost all 'scopes will have a 10 x objective on the eyepieces, then will have multiple (usually 3) objectives below running at 40 x, etc. To get the actual magnification, you multiply the eyepiece objective power by the lower objective power (so using a 40 x objective with a 10 x eyepiece is 400 x = 400 power magnification). If you stick with decent brand names or old college equipment, you should do just fine.
I know in an earlier post I called them dissecting 'scopes, because we used 'scopes like these in a histology lab in college after dissecting tissue. However, the common dissecting scopes don't have nearly the power that are required to see the protozoans and other parasites you will be looking for.
http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=33914&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30tzen said:When this topic was started in 2004, it was mentioned that the majority of frogs had parasites (90%, with 80% more than 1 type)
What is being found now? Still the same prevalance in CB PDFs?
I also wanted to bump this really cool topic.
A couple thoughts.lacerta said:Check out my photos in the gallery. I have an album of frog parasites. I have done hundreds of fecals, not only on my own frogs, but also on wild reptiles and amphibians. Here are a few observations regarding my limited experience with amphibians:
1. Wild caught frogs and toads are litterally "bag-o-worms". A heavy parasite load involving multiple phyla of organisms is the norm.
2. In captive bred frogs the infection rate is probably close to 100% if you count all forms of protista. Infection involving nematodes is also very high but do not involve anywhere near the diversity of different parasite species you'll encounter in wild frogs.
3. As pointed out earlier, flotation techniques are not nearly as effective as a direct smear with the small volume of feces you get from dart frogs. Most of the smaller protista are destroyed by the rapid osmotic change and are missed. Likewise the number of shed larvae by most nematode species can vary and false negatives are very common. For this reason I prefer to use a dissecting scope for an initial scan. In a watch glass or petri the entire fecal pellet can be teased apart and flooded with several drops of saline (.6%). Using the upper magnification levels (40X) on most dissecting scopes will immediately reveal movement. Most samples will litterally be teaming with ciliates and flagellates along with 1st stage nematode larvae. Some blastomere or larvated eggs are also often encountered. Further detailed examination can be done using a compound scope at much high magnification. I will often use a micropipette to lift specimens from under the dissecting scope in order to prepare a wet mount for much higher magnification.
4. Beware of "artifacts" that look like parasites or eggs. Fruit fly eggs, insect parts, pollen, etc have fooled many "experts".
Happy Hunting! There is a whole new world inside that little dab of fex.
(by the way: "feces" is plural for fex"