Parasitiology

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PARASITOLOGY

TEST NAME/DESCRIPTION SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS TURN AROUND SPECIAL NOTES
0532   FECAL DIRECT & FECAL FLOAT
Evaluation of feces for ova, parasites, flagellates and bacteria.
Submit fecal sample in tightly capped tube with 1-2 drops of normal saline to prevent drying. Same Day Sample collected in early morning will yield the most productive results on fecal testing.
0985   FECAL DIRECT, FLOAT & TRICHROME 1 fecal sample in 1-2 drops of normal saline.
1 fecal sample placed in PVA  tube.  Mix thoroughly.
Same Day For best Fecal Trichrome results, collect  sample in the early morning and place immediately in PVA tube.
0130   ACID FAST FOR TB & CRYPTOSPORIDIA
Acid fast stain for detection of Mycobacteria and Cryptosporidia. Fecal smears may be used to monitor or detect tuberculosis cases.
Any impression smears of suspect tissues or body fluids (Please specify origin) 24 – 48 Hrs For fecal testing, always send moist feces in atransfer bullet or other container. Do not premake smears.
0809   COMPLETE PARASITE SCREEN
Includes Fecal direct, fecal float, fecal  trichrome & acid fast stain.
1 fecal sample in 1-2 drops of normal saline. 1 fecal sample in PVA tube. Mix thoroughly. Same Day Good check for Giardia, Trichomonas, Ova, Parasites, T.B.,Cryptosporidia, yeast, bacterial population, etc.
0131   FECAL TRICHROME
Technique used for the detection of giardia, ova trichomonas, yeast, etc.
Please submit feces mixed thoroughly in the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) tubes supplied. Same Day Best samples are taken first thing in the morning and placed in PVA immediately.
0526  BLOOD PARASITE & IBD SCREEN
Screen for blood parasites & inclusion body disease.
2 blood smears or coverslips
1 Hct. tube of whole blood
Same Day Inclusion bodies are mostly found in Boa’s and Pythons
0500 URINALYSIS
Includes standard urine readings and sediment check with preparation geared especially for exotic samples.  Unlike mammalian urine testing, exotic  urine samples remain stable for longer periods of time and do not require special preservative or media for sending.
Please submit urine samples in tightly capped urine tubes (non-breakable). Collect urine with as little  fecal contamination as possible. Same Day Components found in the urine of exotic pet species will retain their integrity much longer than mammal samples.

IFA TESTING

TEST NAME/DESCRIPTION SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS TURN AROUND SPECIAL NOTES
0983 GIARDIA / CRYPTO IFA         Recommended sample is feces in formulin or a fecal culturette. (non-gel swab) 24  –  48 hrs PVA samples are not suitable.

CELL & TISSUE DIAGNOSTICS

TEST NAME/DESCRIPTION SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS TURN AROUND SPECIAL NOTES
0323  CHLAMYDIA Cytology Test for detection of chlamydia in tissues, flushes or chosen site. Submit impression smears of tissues or cytology smears of discharge or flushes. Same Day Sending multiple smears will be helpful if additional stains or evaluation is needed.
0129  CYTOLOGY Pre-made cytology smears and/or fluid aspirates.  (Fluid sample, when available, should always be sent)  24 – 72 hrs Cytology turnaround time may extend if secondary evaluation by pathologist is necessary.
0501 FLUID ANALYSIS Fluids (flushes, washes, aspirates, etc.) in sterile RTT or tightly capped containers.  When using vacutainers, please send in syringe casings to prevent breakage  72 hrs Cytology turnaround time may extend if secondary evaluation by pathologist is necessary.
0337  HISTOPATH/ FEATHER BIOPSY Submit desired tissues in formalin. Sending whole carcasses is discouraged as failure of overnight courier may result in complete loss due to autolysis of the tissues. 4 – 6 working days It is critical to include the Bursa Fabricus in case of Birds  less than1 year old. 

 

Directions For Sending Necropsy’s:

  • Bodies of embryos, nestlings, small adult birds (canaries, finches, etc), fish, and amphibians are subject to rapid tissue autolysis.  For best results these animals should be submitted whole in formalin directly to the pathologist.
  • A money-saving tip for whole animal submissions in formalin: Since liquids are heavy and add to shipping costs, thoroughly fix the specimen overnight in an adequate amount of formalin, then ship it in a minimal amount.  (Especially important for weekends & holidays)
  • When submitting an entire small animal in formalin, open the body cavity and the skull to ensure adequate fixation of the tissues.
  • Do not put large samples in narrow-mouth containers.  Formalin fixation causes samples to become less flexible and they are very difficult to remove from the container later.
  • Please don’t drop large masses on top of your small, fragile tissue samples. Place smaller samples in a red top blood collection tube (filled with formalin).     Always label your formalin containers!  Small body necropsys  in formalin jars can be sent via Avian & Exotic.  Larger necropsy’s must be sent directly to Dr. Reavill for processing.  Call lab for instructions.

 

Table 1. Tissues to submit to rule-out suspected diseases in pet birds

                                                        

Adenovirus Kidney, pancreas, liver
Atoxoplasma Spleen, intestines
Chlamydophila psittaci Liver, spleen, kidney, lung and airsacs
Circovirus Bursa of Fabricius, feather and skin, Bone marrow
Cockatiel ‘lock jaw’ syndrome The entire head
Herpesvirus (Pacheco’s) Liver
Megabacteria Isthmus of the proventriculus and ventriculus
Microsporidia Kidney, liver
Paramyxovirus Brain, middle and inner ear (the entire head), pancreas
Polyomavirus Spleen, liver, bursa of Fabricius, feather and skin
Proventricular Dilatation Disease Multiple sections of gastrointestinal tract, adrenal gland, central or peripheral nervous system
Sarcocystis Lung, heart, skeletal muscle
Vitamin D toxicity Kidney, proventriculus
West Nile virus Brain, heart, spleen, pancreas

 

Table 2. Diseases with no gross lesions and sudden death in pet birds

Organ System Disease
Adrenal glands Proventricular Dilatation Disease                                 Interrenal cell vacuolization of African Greys
Central Nervous System Trauma                                         Paramyxovirus                          Yolk emboliThrombosis                                   West Nile virus                         Neoplasm of the CNS
Heart Bacterial myocarditis                     Polyomavirus                            Vit. E/Selenium deficiencyProvent. Dilatation Disease           Paramyxovirus                         AtherosclerosisWest Nile virus
Liver Herpesvirus                                  Polyomavirus
Pancreas Acute pancreatitis/necrosis of Quaker parakeet
Parathyroid glands Neoplasia or hyperplasia in African greys
Respiratory Acute blockage of the trachea/syrinx                           Acute allergic pneumonitis                 Inhaled toxin
Thyroid gland Lymphocytic thyroiditis of African Grey Parrots           Juvenile Macaw Thyroid hyperplasia

 

Modified from Reavill D. Avian necropsy procedures and common findings. Proc MASAAV, 1997 and Reavill D. Tissue selection for avian necropsies. Exotic DVM. 2000;2(1):9.

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