General question about fecal vs culture vs gram stain

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somechick

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:26 pm


Since I've become doomed to live with piggers with GI issues, I'd like to know when to push for more expensive tests.

What will show up on a gram stain or culture that WON'T show up on a standard fecal float?

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:44 pm


A flotation looks for parasite ova only. A direct smear is often (but not always) done at the same time. That is useful for ova as well as blood or bacteria.

A gram stain is more in depth and sensitive for bacteria and will tell you general characteristics (gram negative or positive) that helps pick the antibiotics to use or ID the microbes.

A culture is the most sophisticated of all the tests. It plates out and grows the bacteria or microbes and then they can be ID'd, gram stained, whatever, and subjected to antibiotics in lab to see which are the most effective antibiotics. It is also the most expensive test and takes many days at the lab.

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somechick

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:01 pm


Hmm, okay. So float/smear is for parasites, gram stain/culture is for bacteria.

I guess I need to know the difference between parasites and bacteria. Coccidia shows on a float, so that's a parasite, while Clostridium shows on a stain, so that's bacteria?

If there are weird poops/gas and the float/smear is negative, should I then go for the stain/culture?

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:23 pm


Duplicate post.
Last edited by Josephine on Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:25 pm


That sounds like the reasonable course of action.

Yes you are right about the parasites and bacteria pretty much.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:49 pm


Lynx, can a link to this thread be added to this thread?

I wasn't clear either about the various tests, and Josephine's explanation is a clear, concise reference.

User avatar
somechick

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:16 pm


Thanks. This helps. Now if only I could compile a list of all parasites and bacteria on the planet!

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:16 pm


Ha!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:39 pm


Talishan I can go add a link.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:33 pm


Thank you!

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somechick

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:33 pm


I know this post is going to be useless since I forget the name of the thing, but anyway...

Dudley had weird poops and both fecals came back negative. I insisted on a gram stain and culture. The doc said she'd do it, but since they're expensive she wants to make sure I really wanted it. She figured there was nothing really going on and not to stress over it.

Of course I stressed over it and said that I want the stain / culture.

The culture DID grow something (very long name starting with an a?) and they found that it's gram negative. It turns out that it's basically nothing that a little probiotics won't cure, but she is prescribing something that I'm picking up today to get rid of it.

I feel good knowing that we caught something - even though it's minor - because I insisted on getting the tests. Yay again for GL!

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:34 pm


Not a useless post at all. Your experience shows the value of insisting on the tests if they're warranted.

Solving a minor problem prevents a major one.

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somechick

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:13 pm


Oh, the drug I have here is Lactulose - if anyone knows anything about it either way. Seems to be for constipation in humans, and Dudley isn't constipated. I'll try to feed some probiotics too.

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:45 pm


If I had to guess, the vet is simply trying to move material through Dudley's system a little faster, to more or less clear her out of the little extra organisms.

Be sure to give her a probiotic, and make sure she's eating plenty of hay. If 'twere me.

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