Fecal Float Tests – How and Why

The dynamics of a common test for parasites in goats.

Fecal Float Tests – How and Why
Add to Favorites Reading Time: 5 minutes What is the biggest health management challenge facing goat owners? Is it hoof care? Digestion issues? Mastitis?  Nope — it’s parasites.  In fact, parasites are the biggest health issue caprines face. Coccidian and worms kill more goats than all other illnesses combined. The barber’s pole stomach worm (Haemonchus contortus) is the biggest troublemaker in America. It sucks blood and causes severe blood loss, anemia, diarrhea, dehydration, and death.  The most popular diagnostic tool veterinarians use to check for parasites is the fecal float test, sometimes called the egg flotation or Fecalyzer test. As the name implies, a fecal float test is based on the differences in specific gravity between parasite eggs and solution. When parasites reproduce, the eggs pass out of the host animal via its feces into the general environment (where they may be ingested by another animal, thus continuing the worm’s life cycle). When examined through

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