A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your cat or dog's feces, that can be implemented at your veterinarian's office. These yearly exams will help your vet diagnose and treat any infections that may be compromising the health of your animal companion, and possibly the health of the other pets and people in your home.
What Fecal Exams Test For
When conducting your pet's fecal exam the vet will check for any signs of parasites including hookworms and roundworms. These parasites can make cats and dogs uncomfortable and irritable and could result in many more serious conditions. Several of these parasites can even be transmitted to humans.
Intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hiding out of sight. That's why fecal exams are the best way to detect their presence.
Preparing for Your Cat or Dog'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 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 Pets Need Fecal Exams
You should have your pet tested for internal parasites at least once a year. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal issues might need to have a fecal exam more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal exam.