How to Collect & Ship a Sample

Everything you need to collect and ship a fecal sample is contained in the Zero Egg Count Fecal Test Kit.

You can download a detailed informational guide to collecting and shipping a fecal sample here:  FECAL SAMPLE COLLECTION AND SHIPPING INFORMATION SHEET

Step 1.   Begin by removing the ZEC Kit contents from its packaging.  Confirm that your ZEC Kit contains the following items:

  • 1 Resealable Fecal Collection Bag
  • 1 Gel Refrigerant Pack
  • 1 Pre-Addressed Shipping Thermal Bubble Mailer
  • Equine Parasite Collection & Treatment Form

Step 2.   Complete the Equine Parasite Collection & Treatment Form.  Filling out the form before collecting the sample will save you time and ensures that your results are returned to you and your Veterinarian promptly. 

The video below is a step-by-step guide to filling out the Equine Parasite Collection and Treatment Form. 

 

 If you have any questions, call us at 314-328-9663 or email us at tdavis@zeroeggcount.com

Step 3.   Place the Gel Refrigerant Pack it in the freezer at least 12 hours prior to shipping your sample.  A frozen gel pack is required to ensure that the sample does not deteriorate during shipping.  If your sample is warm when you collect it, place it in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before packaging it to ship.      Never freeze the fecal sample.

Step 4.   Label the Fecal Collection Bag.  Using a ballpoint pen or permanent marker, write your horse’s name and date of collection in the blank white space provided on the outside of the Fecal Collection Bag.

Step 5.   Positively Identify Your Horse’s Manure Pile.  Determine with certainty that the fecal sample has come from your horse and not another if your horse cohabitates with others.  If necessary, isolate your horse in an area where you know you can collect a sample without a doubt.  One Fecal Collection Bag should be used for each sample taken.  (Never combine samples from different horses in the same bag if you are collecting samples for more than one horse.)

 Fresh is Best

The manure sample must be fresh.  Ideally, collect the sample shortly after your horse has passed it.  Parasitic matter deteriorates over time and temperature change, which results in less than reliable test results.  Schedule collection of samples in the morning if possible.  Avoid collecting a manure sample that contains dirt, shavings, grass, etc.  Select the sample from the top or middle of the manure pile.  Avoid taking the sample from the portion of the pile touching the ground to minimize potential contamination.

Step 6.  DIG IN! Once you have identified your horse’s sample, turn the fecal collection bag inside out.  With the label on the inside of the bag, place your hand inside the bag and collect the fecal nugget of choice.  Ideally, the sample size should be larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball.  Carefully return the bag right-side-out by using your other hand to pull the bag back over the hand grasping the sample.

Step 7.   Remove as much air as possible and seal the Fecal Collection Bag securely.  Elimination of air from the fecal collection bag helps to preserve the sample and prevents parasitic eggs from hatching.  Parasite eggs are anaerobic (living in the absence of air or oxygen), and removing excess air from the bag keeps them alive longer.  Make certain the seal on the bag is completely locked to avoid leakage.

Step 8.   Place the sealed Fecal Collection Bag in the Pre-Addressed Shipping Thermal Bubble Mailer.  Depending on your schedule and the time of day you can obtain the sample, you may not be able to ship your sample on the same day it is collected.  Do not panic, simply place the Pre-Addressed Shipping Thermal Bubble Mailer with the sample in the refrigerator (<39 Fo).  It will keep overnight.  Remember, DO NOT FREEZE the sample.

ONLY USE THE ZEC PRE-ADDRESSED PACKAGING. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE.

Step 9.   Immediately before shipping, retrieve the Gel Refrigerant Pack from the freezer and place it inside the Pre-Addressed Shipping Thermal Bubble Mailer, next to the sealed Fecal Collection Bag. 

WARNING:  Do NOT place the Fecal Collection Bag
in the freezer.  Avoid exposure to excessive cold or heat.

For the Lab to process your sample in a timely manner, ship the sample early in the week to ensure receipt by the Lab before the weekend.  It is highly recommended that your sample arrives at the lab within two days of its collection.

After the Lab receives your horse’s fecal sample, a test will be performed to analyze and calculate your horse’s parasite burden.  You will receive a detailed report summarizing the type and number of eggs found in the sample.  Depending on your preferences indicated on your Equine Parasite Collection & Treatment Form, the results will be emailed or sent via US Postal Service.

Any question?  Email us at tdavis@zeroeggcount.com or call 314-328-9663.  Please check www.zeroeggcount.com for office hours.