Faecal testing is a great way to screen your pet for internal parasites such as worms and coccidia, which, left untreated, can be life-threatening to many species. It can also be beneficial if your pet has diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal signs (including weight loss), as faecal tests can help determine what may be causing your pet to be unwell.

What Is Involved in a Faecal Test?

Four types of faecal tests are commonly performed on exotic pets: a faecal gram stain, a faecal wet preparation, a faecal suspension, and a faecal float. At the Unusual Pet Vets, we will often perform these tests in combination to get a complete picture of what could be going on.

Faecal testing

Faecal Gram Stain

This method allows us to broadly identify the general types of bacteria that are present in your pet’s faeces.

The test involves smearing a small faecal sample onto a microscope slide, drying it and then putting the slide through a series of stains. Once that process has been completed it can then be examined under the microscope.

Faecal Wet Preparation

This method allows us to identify parasites and some types of bacteria and fungi.

The test involves a small amount of a fresh faecal sample being placed on a microscope slide, often with some saline added and a cover slip on top. This is then examined under the microscope.

Faecal Suspension (Macrorhabdus Suspension Technique)

This method was developed by one of our specialist avian vets, Dr Hamish Baron, and has been shown as one of the most sensitive ways to diagnose macrorhabdus in our bird patients.

This involves a small faecal sample being thoroughly mixed with saline in a small test tube. The supernatant (top part of the mixture) is then pipetted off and analysed under the microscope.

Faecal Float

A faecal float is performed to identify the eggs of mature parasites that live inside the body.

The process of a faecal float involves a stool sample being placed inside a small container that is mixed with a specialised solution and allowed to settle. Once ready the sample is analysed under the microscope.

Faecal testing
Faecal Testing

How Often Should Faecal Tests Be Done?

For birds and reptiles, a faecal test is recommended as part of their preventative health care plan, and for this reason, we have included this service in our FlyStart, ScaleStart and SlitherStart packages.

Faecal tests are also important to consider when introducing a new pet into your home, and they are often performed if a pet is unwell.

Although many of the species we see do not require regular worming unless they are exposed to new parasites, faecal tests are a good way to see if your pet needs to be wormed rather than just treating your pet for parasites that it may not have.

In most cases, we perform faecal testing on the spot, and you will have the results within 10-15 minutes of the sample being taken.

Early detection and intervention are essential for your exotic pet’s health. Faecal testing can provide a lot of information about the status of your pet’s gastrointestinal health.

Wavy bg testimonials


Client – Sunshine Coast

There is a great positive vibe felt when you walk in the door! The staff are friendly, caring, and welcoming. Highly recommended. Thank you, from Pepper Pig.

Brad Symons

Client – Ferntree Gully

Very professional vets there! They have the vaccination available when every other vet clinic I called didn’t. They know rabbits so well that I was feeling very comfortable and confident to let them take care of my rabbit even though its further from home!

Danielle Lam

Client – Ferntree Gully

Love the welcoming receptionist and the vet. They treated my fur babies with care and also follow-up the subsequent day, just to make sure my bunnies are recovering well.

Timmy Toppy

Client – Sunshine Coast

The whole team at UPV Sunshine Coast are friendly, accommodating, professional, passionate, and caring! I have regular contact with the team as one of my parrots requires ongoing medication and they are always prompt with sorting out prescriptions and meds. Highly recommend. 

Lee Stone

Client – Sunshine Coast

Thank you to the team at UPV for taking care of Oscar the Eckie! We had a wonderful first appointment and Dr Pat took good care of my little guy, even though he can be nervous and difficult. I really appreciate you guys for going the extra mile to keep Oscar safe and to give him a positive experience.

Kiah Nash

Client – Sunshine Coast

Dr Alex at Buderim clinic was extremely kind and caring. His knowledge about bearded dragons is incredible. He was successful in helping Kiko our bearded dragon get back to optimal health. I was also impressed that he kept me informed twice a day. Many thanks. 

Penny Thompson

Client – Balcatta

Great staff and wonderful doctors, so helpful and caring about our pets. Really appreciated the respect and care given to our little friends.

Adam Cliff

Client – Balcatta

Thank you to Dr Yang for her attempt to help and care my rabbit, Lola. Even though it wasn’t the result we hoped and prayed for Dr Yang was very caring and professional with Lola even letting my mother and I having our last moments with her. We couldn’t be more grateful for that. Even sending us a condolence card in the mail. Dr Yang and team are highly recommended.

Anthony Koomen

Client – Balcatta

Absolutely amazing staff! They are all so caring, supportive, and professional. I had to provide palliative care for two of my older rabbits and the information & support I received from the staff was incredible. 10/10 would recommend! Plus, my rabbits give them the big tick of approval, so really that’s the main thing.

Sarah Manfredi

Client – Balcatta

I cannot speak highly enough of the care that my bird received at The Unusual Pet Vets in Balcatta. Dr Green was in constant contact with me leading up to Chirpy’s surgery and even gave me a call just prior to him going under. I can highly recommend them for any unusual pet you may have.

Sheree Bennison