A better way to detect intestinal parasites in dogs and cats
The new IDEXX PetChek IP is an innovative, antigen-based faecal test that identifies intestinal parasite infections earlier and more accurately.
Intestinal parasites can cause serious medical problems for both pets and owners.
These infections are very common in dogs and cats, and spread easily to other pets as well as humans. To make testing for these parasites faster and more reliable, IDEXX has developed an innovative diagnostic kit: PetChek IP.
PetChek IP lets you test dogs and cats for intestinal parasite infections in three simple steps:
- The pet owner buys a test kit at the clinic
- The owner takes a small stool sample and sends it to IDEXX Reference Laboratories
- IDEXX shares the test results directly with your clinic
PetChek IP is optimised to fit seamlessly into any veterinary practice’s workflow.
The pet owner simply buys a test kit at their clinic and takes care of everything. During the introduction period in which PetChek IP was tested among pet owners, 97% of them reported being very happy with the test.
- The box comes with simple instructions and a prepaid return package
- A hygienic, simple-to-use sampling tool is included in the box
- Only a single small faecal sample is required
About intestinal parasites
Many dogs and cats will be infected with an intestinal parasite at some point in their lives. Even well-cared-for pets are at risk if they live in a multi-pet household or visit public areas.
- Prevalence of intestinal parasites will vary between regions
- Infection risk also depends on the animal’s lifestyle, age and level of care
- Shelter animals and outdoor pets tend to have higher infection rates
- Pups and kittens can be infected by their mother during pregnancy or suckling
Limitations of deworming
Regular deworming is an effective form of treatment, but will only protect pets for a short period of time. Despite routine dispensing of this medication, many pets still harbour an infection. This can be due to:
- Lack of compliance in administering the deworming products
- Re-infection after de-worming medication wears off
- Targeting the wrong worm species or stage
Benefits of regular intestinal parasite testing
For prevention programmes to be effective they should include not only regular deworming, but also routine testing. This opens up better treatment options for infected pets and minimises the chance of other pets or owners being infected.
The European Scientific Counsel of Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) advocates regular testing in veterinary clinical practice (www.esccap.org/guidelines/).
Faecal flotation test method
Limitations of current flotation test method
At the moment, faecal flotation is the most commonly used method for detecting intestinal parasites. But faecal flotation suffers from many diagnostic limitations:
|Flotation test||Antigen test|
|Pre-analytic mixing & float-time methods||Advanced ELISA technology|
|Misidentification of pollen and other debris as ova||Non-subjective, highly accurate antigen detection|
|Misidentification of eggs from another species (coprophagy)||Accurately identifies adult parasites, not parasite ova|
|Misses early and single-sex infections due to reliance on egg shedding||Identifies infection as soon as the parasite is present|
|Large sample size, often with multiple-day sampling||Requires a single collection of just 10% of flotation sample size (0.2g.)|
|Late identification and only of infections with fully grown, ova-shedding parasites||Detects prepatent intestinal infections up to 30 days earlier|
The highly sensitive copro-antigen ELISAs have many significant advantages compared to flotation tests
PetChek IP utilises IDEXX’s new highly sensitive protein biomarker technology to accurately detect hookworm, roundworm, whipworm and Giardia infections. Detecting these discrete biomolecules indicates the presence of the specific metabolically active nematode infection as these biomarkers are produced by the worms and not the eggs.
Test for four intestinal parasites
The new IDEXX PetChek IP faecal test is a quick, easy and effective way to test for the presence of intestinal parasites in pets. It uses the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) testing protocol developed by IDEXX to assess the presence of infection by detecting antigens from the worm or the Giardia trophozoites. PetChek IP tests for Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, and Giardia.
Roundworms can cause serious disease in young animals including weight loss, failure to thrive and distention of the abdomen. In adult pets, infected animals are often without clinical signs, but they still continue to excrete eggs, putting other animals at risk.
Hookworms attach themselves to the intestinal wall and suck blood with their ‘hook-like’ mouthparts, causing anaemia (blood loss) especially in younger pets. Other complications can include diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory disease.
Whipworm adults use their slender head to penetrate and anchor themselves to the intestinal wall. Infections can be without signs of disease, but severe infections can cause colitis with signs of diarrhoea and blood.
Giardia attaches and causes injury to the small intestinal wall, which reduces the intestines’ ability to absorb fluid and nutrients. The infection can have no clinical signs or cause diarrhoea.
PetChek IP is a win for everyone
Peace of mind for pet owners: knowing if there is a risk of infection to other household pets and to their family members.
Owners simply collect the sample and drop it in the nearest mailbox. It’s easy and convenient for clients, with no hands-on time required from the clinic.
Engaging owners in testing increases awareness for good parasite control while increasing the clinic’s diagnostic and treatment revenue.
Promoting PetChek IP in your clinic
PetChek™ IP in 40 seconds
If you wish to promote PetChek™ IP in your clinic please share this little animation on your clinic waiting room screens or digital communication channels
PetChek IP videos, publications, and literature
Watch Stan Marks (BVSc, PhD, Professor Medicine & Epidemiology at UC Davis) answering 5 questions on intestinal parasites.
Read publications and further literature on PetChek IP.