What is a fecal exam?
Fecal exams are microscopic examinations of your pet's feces that are completed at your vet's office. These annual fecal exams will help your vet to identify and treat any infections that may be compromising your pet's health and the health of other members of your household.
What do fecal exams detect?
Your vet will check for any signs of parasites like roundworms and hookworms when performing fecal exams. These parasites are capable not only of making pets feel irritable and uncomfortable, but they can also lead to many more serious conditions and infections if not promptly treated. A number of these parasites are even capable of infecting people.
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 do I prepare for my pet's fecal exam?
Get a fresh stool sample and bring it to your vet's office the same day, ideally within 4 to 6 hours for the most accurate results.
It's very important that you don't allow stool samples to dry out or dehydrate. If this happens, many potential parasites will be killed, masking their presence.
How often does my pet need a fecal exam?
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 exam.