Q: Why choose us over others?
A: Veterinary laboratories generally run many samples for cats, dogs and other animals, they have very expensive equipment and standardised tests and extremely efficient quality control is generally practised. It is extremely difficult to have somebody that specialises in every single field and even more unlikely that a large laboratory would have a veterinary surgeon specialising in reptile parasitology - reason for which we are quite unique. Many small entities started off by running worm counts for horses or farm animals and although laboratory technicians may well be experienced, qualified veterinary staff working towards the ever growing field of reptile parasitology and understanding reptile pathology are a rarity. The interpretation and relevance is what makes us different.
Q: What do I do if I have multiple reptiles housed together?
A: It is not a problem, just let us know the details on the "relevant information" block during checkout and also on the form that you receive through the post. A group of Leopard tortoises or Leopard geckos housed together for a long time for example is the ideal "group testing". If multiple species are housed together or the same species have been together for a short period then there is a higher risk of false negative results.
Q: Could I get a discount if I send many samples?
A: Special prices on multiple animals may be considered especially for veterinary practices, rescues, shops and breeders. Just contact us with the specifics on the "contact" page and we shall get back to you.
Q: Why shouldn't I just treat with preventative treatment in my reptile as I do in my dog or cat?
It may be easy to order products and treat reptiles for potential parasite infestations, either to save money or simply because we routinely do it with our cats and dogs, BUT this is not recommended. Relatively new studies have taught us that parasitic resistance and toxic effects are the reasons why this should be avoided. Radiomimmetic effects with fenbendazole use (probably the antiparasitic treatment most frequently used) have been reported in many species. This may cause gastrointestinal and bone marrow destruction with devastating consequences. These products should be used once treatment necessity has been established and dosage precautions should be taken in to account by a specialist.
Q: How should I store the sample?
If he sample is fresh then there is no need to store in the fridge as this would reduce motility of specific parasites - a cool room is fine. It is important to send a fresh moist sample as dry samples will disrupt parasitic forms and increase false negatives. A few drops of cooled boiled water can be added to maintain humidity.
Q: What is a pooled sample and how should I collect it?
A: We ask for a pooled sample which means that multiple faecal samples are collected. Ideally 3 samples should be collected with a representative sample of each added to the container supplied. Intermittent shedding may occur with certain parasites so this increases the likeliness of detection and therefore reducing the possibility of false negative results. The chalky white or grey substance that is often passed with faeces are the urates and these are not required for the testing process. For some species or individuals it may be difficult to obtain 3 samples, often due to voiding frequency. In these cases we will accept just 1 or 2 samples because waiting longer may invalidate the previous collected samples.
Q: What is the minumum sample that I can send?
A: A minimum amount is necessary for each process performed. Ideally collect a samle that fills the pot provided. If an insufficient sample is received we will prioritize which tests are performed ie flotation techniques over pinworm count.