Giving your pet their annually scheduled fecal exam at a vet's office is the best way to keep them, and you, safe from intestinal parasites. Annually administered fecals give your vet a chance to check for intestinal parasites before more serious conditions have a chance to arise.
What is a fecal exam?
Fecal exams are microscopic examinations of your pet's feces that are completed at your veterinarian's office. These annually administered exams will help your vet to identify and treat infections that may be compromising your pet's health or the health of other members of your household.
What do fecals detect?
Your vet will look for any signs of parasites such as hookworms and roundworms when performing fecal exams. These parasites can make pets irritable and uncomfortable, and could lead to many more serious issues. A number of parasites may even be transmitted to people.
Intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hiding them from view. That's why fecals are the best way to detect their presence.
How do I prepare for my pet's fecal?
Collect a fresh stool sample and bring it to your veterinarian on the same day. Ideally, you should do so within 4 to 6 hours of collection for the most accurate test results.
It's imperative not to allow the stool sample to dehydrate or dry out, since many of the potential parasites will be killed, which in turn can mask their presence.
How often does my pet need a fecal?
You should have your pet tested for intestinal parasites at least once each year. Puppies and pets with gastrointestinal issues may require these exams more frequently than that. Ask your veterinarian about how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal exam.