Getting your pet their annual fecal exam from your veterinarian is the best way to protect them and your family from intestinal parasites. Annually administered fecal exams will give your veterinarians a chance to check for intestinal parasites before more serious conditions have a chance to arise.
What is a fecal exam?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your pet's feces, which is completed at your veterinarian's office. These annual fecals will help your vet to identify and treat any infections that could be compromising your pet's health, and even the health of members of your household.
What do fecals detect?
Your vet will search for signs of parasites like roundworms and hookworms when performing fecal exams. These parasites can make pets irritable and uncomfortable and may lead to many more serious health issues down the road. 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?
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 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?
Your should have your pet testing for intestinal parasites with a fecal at least once each year. Puppies and other animals that may be predisposed to gastrointestinal issues may need fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet about how often you should be bringing your pet's stool in for a fecal exam.