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


Informative Service

Very nice and informative service. Lovely vet practice, will definitely recommend to others.

Joanne Marsden

Wonderful and Knowledgeable

Wonderful and knowledgable vet. Took time to thoroughly check over my rabbit and answer all the questions I had. Would recommend to other rabbit owners.

Leona Hazel

Caring and Compassionate

Highly recommend, caring and compassionate no matter how small your pet. Thank you to the unusual pet vets for treating our very sick little mouse Moon, she came back to full health and is now enjoying life in a new home with new cage mates.

Kali and Co

Simply The Best

Cannot speak highly enough of the caring and lovely staff at UPV Osborne Park. Particularly to Dr Kelly for the wonderful treatment and compassion she displayed caring for my much loved
Bugz. Definitely recommend this practice. Simply the Best.

Stephen Waddell

A Great Vet For Exotic Pets

It’s a great vet for exotic pets, we would like to thank Dr Kiara and the nurses for all the help they have done for the bunnies especially when they have been unwell.

Gretel – Thankyou for all the tips and advice on what and what not to do with the bunnies.

We will definitely be recommending to all our exotic animal friends.

Jayde Darton

5 Stars All The Way!

Fantastic vets! Staff are so helpful and friendly. Vet’s are brilliant, they show so much love and compassion to our animals. 5 stars all the way!!

Nayre Manookain

A Huge Thank you

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to the gang at Murdoch who helped my family and stimmy Cindy. It was a very stressful time and they assisted us with ease! Pricing was also more than reasonable which we were very grateful for. Thank you guys again, my noodle is now on the mend all to you guys.

Brook Oliver

Excellent Service, Caring and Professional Advice

Excellent service, caring and professional advice, and very good handling for our pet bird, on our first visit today at The Unusual Pet Vets, Jindalee. Very helpful, and they also provided further reading for us via email after our appointment regarding a few things we asked about. All staff were lovely and friendly – from the initial phone booking (you can do internet bookings too) to and including the consult. Thank you very much – we’ll definitely be back! Highly recommend.

Lisa Hack

Received the Best Service

Received the best service from Dr Sasha at the Sunshine Coast clinic. She taught me so much in such a kind manner and was very gentle to my Guinea pig. She then followed up by emailing further information on Guinea pig general care. Highly recommend!

Kate Hunter

Amazing and Caring Staff

Amazing and caring staff at the Ferntree Gully Clinic. Our baby rat was not well, and they always made time to help and support her. Very knowledgeable and compassionate. Would highly recommend and absolutely will use again. Thank you to everyone at Ferntree Gully for being there for us and Tabby.

Vicki Freedman