Bringing a sample of your pet's stool to the vet for a fecal exam annually is the best way to protect your pet and family from intestinal parasites. A fecal exam for your pet a year provides our Santa Cruz vets with the opportunity to test your pet for intestinal parasites before their condition becomes serious.
What are fecal exams?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your pet's feces, that is performed at your primary care vet's office. Yearly fecal exams give your vet the chance to find and treat any infections that could be compromising the health of your pet and potentially the health of the other pets and humans in your home.
What do fecal exams look for?
When conducting a fecal exam your vet will check your pet for any signs of parasites such as hookworms and roundworms. These parasites can make pets uncomfortable and irritable and can cause many more dangerous issues. A handful of parasites can even be spread to humans.
Intestinal parasites reside in the gastrointestinal tract of your pet, where they can easily hide out of sight. This makes fecal exams the best way to detect their presence.
How can I prepare for my pet's fecal exam?
Get 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 most accurate results.
It's very important that you don't let the stool sample dry out or dehydrate, because many of the potential parasites will be killed, which as a result could mask their presence.
How often will my pet need a fecal exam?
You should have your pet tested for internal parasites at least once a year. If you have a puppy or animal with a gastrointestinal condition they might require a fecal exam more regularly. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal exam.