Bringing a sample of your pet's feces to the vet once a year for a fecal exam is the best way you can protect your pets and family from intestinal parasites. In this blog, our vets in Fairfield, NJ explain the benefits of fecal exams and how they can diagnose your pet for intestinal parasites before their condition becomes worse.
What are fecal exams?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of a cat or dog's feces. This diagnostic test can be performed at your primary care veterinarian's office. Yearly fecal exams help your vet find and treat any infections that could be negatively affecting your pet's health, and possibly the health of everyone in your home.
What do fecal exams test for?
When conducting a fecal exam your vet will check for any clues of parasites including roundworms and hookworms. These parasites can make pets uncomfortable, irritable, and lead to many more serious problems. A handful of parasites can even be transmitted to humans.
Intestinal parasites live in the gastrointestinal tract of your pet, where they can hide out of sight. This makes fecal exams the best way to find them.
How can I get ready for my pet's fecal exam?
Grab 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 for the best 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, and as a result can mask their presence.
How many fecal exams will my pet need?
You should bring a sample of your pet's stool to the vet for a fecal exam at least once annually. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal problems might require more frequent fecal exams. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.