Getting your pet their yearly fecal exam at your vet's office is one of the best ways you can keep your pet and your family safe from intestinal parasites. Annual fecal exams give your vet an opportunity to check for intestinal parasites before a more serious condition arises.
What is a fecal exam?
Fecal exams are microscopic examinations of your pet's feces, which can be completed at your veterinarian's office. These annual tests will help your vet to identify and treat any infections that may be compromising your pet's health or even the health of other people and pets living in your household.
What do fecals detect?
Your veterinarians will search for signs of parasites like hookworms and roundworms when performing a fecal exam. These parasites are capable of making your pets uncomfortable and may lead to many more serious issues. A number of these parasites may even be transmittable to you or your family.
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 into your vet's office the same day. For the most accurate results, you should try to bring it in within 4 to 6 hours of collection.
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 internal parasites at least annually. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal issues may need fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.