On the subject of POO!

Faeces can tell you alot in veterinary medicine. Being an exotics vet I deal with my fair share as parasites and gastrointestinal diseases are often more significant than in our usual mammalian patients.

Rabbits produce two types of faeces; firstly soft, mucus covered lumps of dark wet faeces called caecotrophs, which the rabbits eat again, directly from the anus. These are then digested a second time to produce the more familiar small round drier pellets everyone associates with rabbit droppings. The caecotrophs below brought me great satisfaction (sad I know!), as I had been treating the  rabbit in question for several days for a potentially fatal conditon called Ileus or Gut Stasis, whereby the gut slows down or stops working altogether, and hence faecal production stops.

Caecotrophs

Another reason I’m often referred to as the poo vet in my practice is that I run alot of faecal screens in the lab, specifically in reptiles for gastrointestinal parasites. In most reptiles which are anorexic, inappetant, or generally unwell I request a faecal sample, especially where there is an unknown history, a history of poor hygiene or quarantine conditions, or if the animal is wild caught.

More to come on this topic at a later date……….

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