New Bolton Center Offers Testing for Foal Diarrhea

The Microbiology Lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center is offering a foal diarrhea panel to streamline testing for foals with diarrhea. The announcement of the test coincides with the onset of foaling season. Diarrhea is extremely dangerous, even life-threatening, to foals, and quick, accurate analysis of the cause could be a life saver.

Said Shelley C. Rankin, PhD, chief of clinical microbiology and associate professor of microbiology at Penn Vet, "This panel has been designed to coordinate testing for foal diarrhea cases between New Bolton Center's Widener Hospital and the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab Services system, ensuring that each animal has the same battery of tests performed."

The complete panel includes a Salmonella PCR; aerobic culture; Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin test; C. difficile toxins A and B; parasitology fecal float; electron microscopy, and E. coli virulence gene testing.

A minimum 25g fecal sample (about five tablespoons) will be adequate to perform all of the tests included in the panel. Sample should be collected in a fecal cup or clean, sealable, unbreakable plastic container. If a minimum of 25g of feces cannot be collected, individual fecal/rectal swabs can be used to perform the tests individually with the exception of the parasitology fecal float or electron microscopy.

A New Bolton Center Microbiology Submission form, completed by the primary care veterinarian, must accompany each sample. Forms are available at New Bolton Center, at the drop-off refrigerator in the Clinical Annex, or by calling 610/925-6155. Samples must be refrigerated, but not frozen, and received by the lab within 24 hours of collection. Specimens can also be shipped overnight, with an ice pack, to the New Bolton Center Microbiology Laboratory, Monday through Thursday.

The cost for the complete panel for Pennsylvania residents is $217.50. If sample is positive for E. coli an additional charge of $35 for E. coli Virulence testing will added to the basic cost.

For additional information or submission forms call 610/925-6155 or e-mail

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