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Student research project

ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu
Sun Oct 16 13:09:18 EST 1994

In Article <199410141941.MAA05107 at net.bio.net>
>--------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------
>Hi!  We are students at the Math\Science\Technology Center in Big
>Rapids.  We are planning a research project involving parasitology
>in dogs and cats.  We want to test fecal samples brought to us by
>animal owners who bring their pet into the Vet. Clinic.  We
>would like to test the levels of parasites in both healthy animals
>and animals that show symptoms of sicknesses related to parasites.
>Can anyone help us by providing ideas, suggestions, or information
>related to our project?

A useful reference for your project is "Veterinary Clinical Parasitology"
edited by Sloss, Kemp, and Zajack (1994) Univ of Iowa Press.  The book
is a diagnostic manual with excellent B&W photos of common parasites found
in domestic animals. The book also contains a section on laboratory procedures
which will be most helpful. I think you should start out by doing the same
analysis on all animals irrespective of their disease status. This would
include a sucrose and zinc sulfate flotation following the procedures outlined
in Sloss et al.  This uniform treatment will enable you to ascertain if the
proportion of sick animals is more likely to be parasitized than asymptomatic
animals.  Also, you should try to define your critera for being sick as
expicitly as possible... in epidemiology this is called the case definition.
For example, you might include the following: loose stool (conforms to
container), poor hair coat, temperature, poor appitite etc. You will also need
collect age and gender information to describe any related trends in the 
in the prevealnce of infections.   Other attributes you may want consider
include:  does the pet live indoors, or outdoors, what is the usual diet,
does the pet hunt prey, is the owner aware of any copraphagous behavior by the 
   You may want to do a literature search before you get to far into the
project. There are quite a few papers published on data collected along these
lines.  Try JAVMA, Jour Amer Animal Hosp Assn, and Jour Parasit (1960's) for 

   I'm sure others can add to this list with some additional thought, but
this should get y'all started.   Good luck!!!!!

     *  Charles T. Faulkner, M.A.                   *
     *  Clinical Parasitology Service               *
     *  Dept. of Comparative Medicine               *
     *  P.O. Box 1071                               *
     *  Knoxville, TN 37901-1071                    *
     *  Voice: (615) 974-5645  Fax: (615) 974-5640  *
     *  E-Mail: ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu              *

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