Bringing a sample of your pet's stool to the vet for a fecal exam every year is the absolute best way to protect your pet and family from intestinal parasites. Here, our Houston County vets explain how fecal exams help them test your pet for intestinal parasites before more severe complications arise.
What are fecal exams?
Fecal exams are microscopic examinations of your cat or dog's feces, that is conducted at your primary care vet's office. Yearly fecal exams help your veterinarian find and treat any infections that could be negatively impacting the health of your pet, and possibly the health of everyone in your home.
What do fecal exams test for?
When conducting your pet's fecal exam your vet will check for any indications of parasites including roundworms and hookworms. These parasites can make cats and dogs feel uncomfortable and irritated and can cause many more serious conditions. A handful of parasites could even be spread to humans.
Intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hiding them from view. That's why fecal exams are the best way to detect their presence.
How can I prepare for my pet's fecal exam?
Collect a fresh sample of your pet's stool and bring it to your vet's office the same day, preferably within 4 to 6 hours to get the most accurate results.
It's very important that you don't let the stool sample dehydrate or dry out, because many of the potential parasites will be killed, which in turn can mask their presence.
How often will my pet need a fecal exam?
You should have your cat or dog tested for internal parasites at least once a year. 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 exam.