Article Index "Fecal Testing Course - Step 3" Article Index

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Course Objective: This course will teach the rudiments of learning fecal testing methods and techniques for goats, identifying basic parasites, and observing parasite kill ratios with two commonly used (anthelmintics) wormers.

Course Rationale: Owning goats requires the continued monitoring of their health based on the worms and parasites they host. Persons taking this course will become more aware of these worms and parasites and the effectiveness of the various anthelmintics used for control and prevention.

Course Instructor: Gary Pfalzbot - please direct all questions and comments to me at

To complete this step, you will need the following materials and supplies:

  • At least one "well" slide as instructed in Step 1.
  • A microscope capable of a X 100 to X500 magnification range.
  • Rubbing alcohol or regular dish soap (for cleaning slides).
  • Small glass jars (or suitable containers - not plastic).
  • Soft paper towels or cloths (a soft polish camera cloth is ideal).
  • SafeGuard white paste wormer (no substitutes please).
  • Ivomec or Cydectin Pour-On wormer.
  • An eyedropper, small syringe and similar dispenser capable of dispensing one drop at a time.

Step 3 - What You'll See - Identifying Parasites

  • Using the prepared fecal mixture as outlined in Step 2, take an eyedropper and carefully suction up some of the mixture into the eyedropper. Place exactly one drop into the "well" of your slide and place the slide onto your microscope.

  • Set your microscope on the X100 magnification range and look into your eyepiece. If you have correctly prepared your fecal testing solution, you should not see extremely large particles or debri in the viewfield. If you notice a large amount of debris and particles, please repeat Step 2 or let your fecal test mixture further saturate and soften with the fecal test solution. Repeat this procedure until you see only particles large enough to not quite take up the entire view screen of your microscope eyepiece.

  • Now comes the real part of the course - searching for and identifying the parasites. Please know, this takes an extreme amount of patience and can only be truly successful if you carefully search every portion of the slide sample! Rushing through this process risks the possibility of missing an important and detrimental parasite.

  • Using the Parasite Identification Chart below, begin by moving your slide toward you until you can just see the eclipse of the slide well ring at the top of your eyepiece view screen. Carefully observe everything you see in this first quadrant of your search. It is a good idea at this point to take notes and write down the "possibilities" of what you are seeing. One thing to keep in mind while you are searching, you will be looking for two specific cycles in the parasites - the eggs or larvae and the mature or freshly hatched parasite.

Round Worm / Ascarid - Parascaris equorum - Egg and Mature - Click Pictures for Larger Images
  Primary symptoms of this ascarid are a persistent cough, poor appetite, general unthriftiness and a pot belly. Primarily affects younger animals. Eggs can survive years on pastures. Can cause peritonitis and rupture.
Pin Worm - Oxyuris Equi. - Egg and Mature - Click Pictures for Larger Images
  A primary symptom of Pin Worms is tail rubbing. The eggs are sticky and adhere to walls, bedding and other places where goats congregate. Female worms with sharp tails are seen in the feces sample. The sample is collected using a tape method.
Lung Worm - Dictyocaulus - Larvae - Click Pictures for Larger Images
  The primary symptom of the Lung Worm is a persistent cough. Worms may be seen in fecal tests. While this parasite is more prevalent in animals such as donkeys and horses, it is also very common in goats. The egg is larvated.
Crypto - Cryptosporidium - Oocysts - Click Pictures for Larger Images
  The primary symptom of Crypto is diarrhea (causes Cryptosporidiosis) - more information can be found here. It should be mentioned that oocysts can also be found in well water, and to a lesser degree (and less often), city water. There are a variety of home filtration devices designed to eliminate this parasite from the supply. It is a good idea to use distilled water for the testing solution to eliminate this parasite as a possibility in results.
Coccidia - Eimeria - Oocysts - Click Pictures for Larger Images

  • Once you have completed the above step, please proceed to Step 4 (not yet completed).

    Participants questions, answers and comments to appear here...

  • Course Instructor: Gary Pfalzbot - please direct all questions and comments to me at

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