Discussion in 'Health Clinic' started by Dez, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Dez

    Dez Chamalot Chameleons

    Somebody requested (like over a year ago) that I make a video on how to do a fecal float to check for parasites. I finally got around to putting it together

    Intestinal Parasites are common in chameleons and other reptiles. Wild caught chameleons have a reputation of having intestinal parasites..although this is true , parasites can effect Captive bred as well as Wild caught Chameleon.

    A chameleon may have parasites but not show any symptoms until they have advanced too far.. Early detection is key! That is why it is recommended to have a fecal exam every 6 month to a year so you can treat for the parasites before they get out of hand.

    Here is a video on how to do your own fecal floats at home.

    Items you will need:


    Fecal Solution (Fecal-med or Fecalsol)

    Eye Dropper Syringe or bottle


    Glass Slides and slip covers

    Microscope capable of 100x and 400x magnification (the one I use is a celestron 44340)

    "Understanding Reptile Parasites" book or a parasite identification chart

    A fresh stool sample (Fresher the Better!)
    #1 Dez, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. little leaf

    little leaf Avid Member

    that was great !! I have wanted to start to do my own, this was a big help :) THANK YOU for posting this
  3. jannb

    jannb Chameleon Enthusiast

    Awesome video Dez. I know now Mike will have to get a microscope. He's been bugging me for one. :)

    I can not stress to everyone the importance of getting fecals done. I get fecals on my guys every 3 to 4 months and almost always somebody has parasites. :eek: Parasites is the #3 cause of death in reptiles.
    jastate09 likes this.
  4. d3s5

    d3s5 Avid Member

    Dez - THANK YOU so much! This information is a great resource. I am looking forward to being competent enough to do my own fecals. Especially since I am getting a group of Melleri together. Thanks again.

  5. Dez

    Dez Chamalot Chameleons

    Glad everyone likes the video

    YES! The problem is that most if the time there are no symptoms or the symptoms are slight and easily overlooked. By the time the chameleon starts acting sick or showing obvious signs it MAY BE TOO LATE
  6. Very clear and awesome video Dez
  7. Lathelia

    Lathelia Established Member

    Wow, great video! Now I need to get a microscope ;)
  8. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

    Nice video! I need to upgrade my scope after seeing yours.
  9. Dez

    Dez Chamalot Chameleons

    Its a pretty nice microscope for the money. you can take photos and video which is helpful.

    This is the second one I have owned though because the first one I had the screen stopped functioning after about 2 years.. the only way to view the slide is through the screen there are no eye pieces.... so when the screen goes your screwed. But you can't beat it for the price
  10. deadhd5

    deadhd5 Established Member

    Great post! It convinced me to make the leap and purchase all the recommended gear :) I picked up the same microscope linked in "like new" condition on the site linked to for $92!

    Everything all together was about $150, so with my 4 chams, I should break even in less than a year, have healthier chams, less worry, and a cool microscope.

    Thanks Dez!

  11. Great video! Thanks for posting. I'm going to buy a copy of that parasite book. I normally look to buy captive bred chameleons first and attempt to stay away from wild caught reptiles however I occasionally buy wild caught chameleons and this thread and book you recommended is going to be a great resource.
    #11 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  12. Brad

    Brad Administrator
    Staff Member

    Another awesome educational video by Dez [​IMG]
  13. carol5208

    carol5208 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Very informative video and your chameleon is adorable how he just sat there in his little tree looking beautiful for the camera!! He cracked me up!!:)
  14. biffle

    biffle Established Member

    Warning... Do not watch this video late at night with your speakers up.
    The opening scene woke the house up.

    Awesome video but I’ll leave the playing with terds to the vet. :)

  15. Dr O

    Dr O Veterinarian

    nice video Dez! just a few random comments-

    -on a “normal” microscope, the total magnification is the sum of the ocular lenses (the part you look through) x the objective lenses (the ones you rotate). most oculars are 10x, and objectives commonly come in 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x. so putting the 10x objective on is equal to “100x magnification” which is what you may typically see on cheaper scopes.

    -a fecal float as you have shown here is approximately 70% accurate. issues are user error, too little or too much float time, parasite eggs shedding intermittently, etc. a sedimentation is a much more involved type of fecal test that involves centrifuges but it’s accuracy is in the 90’s and it also catches worms such as Trematodes (flukes) that a standard flotation WILL miss. some hospitals do sedimentation fecals routinely, but at least most outlabs use that procedure for fecal testing.

    -a float is only good at picking up common intestinal worms but misses most one-celled organisms with the exception of coccidia. to pick up giardia, amoebiasis, cryptosporidium and other unicellular parasites a test called a direct fecal is necessary. all that involves is adding a speck of feces to a drop of saline on a slide (Lugol’s iodine has pros and cons as an adjunct stain), mix it up and put a coverslip on it. those are read at 400x. you cannot read the entire coverslip as the magnification is so high, but basically you just pick 10 random areas or so and look for any organisms. since giardia at least is quite common in chams, any routine fecal testing needs a direct done as well. you won’t find it on a float unless you have been doing this for many, many years (and you get lucky).

    -Fecalyzers are fine, but you can do the identical test with just an empty test tube or something similar; basically you just need to mash up the poop, add the solution till the meniscus is just over the top, and put a cover slip on it. so don’t think you must purchase those, they are fairly wasteful imo since test tubes can be cleaned and re-used indefinitely. i hate buying one-time use plastic just to chuck it in a landfill when i’m done.
    #15 Dr O, Jun 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  16. Dez

    Dez Chamalot Chameleons

    When I first started doing my own fecals, I used small glass bottles instead of fecalizers. I would smush up the poo with a chopstick and shake the bottle to mix it up. However I found it much easier and cleaner to use the fecalizer. Once I tried them out I never went back to the glass bottles.

    After I finished the video I realized I meant to say 100x instead of 200x but didnt not think it was a big deal that i needed to go back to redo it. I always get my magnification mixed up.

    Perhaps it would be beneficial to the community to have a fecal smear or direct fecal video made as well.
    #16 Dez, Jun 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013

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