What is a fecal exam?
A fecal exam is an examination of your pets feces conducted by your vet at a microscopic scale. These annual tests will help your vet identify and treat infections which may be compromising your pet's health and the health of you and your family members.
What do fecals detect?
Your vet will look for any signs of parasites such as hookworms and roundworms when performing fecal exams. These parasites can make pets irritable and uncomfortable, and could lead to many more serious issues. 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?
Collect a fresh stool sample and bring it in to your vet's office the same day. The quicker you can deliver the sample, the better. Ideally, you should deliver the sample to your vet within six hours of collection for the best 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?
You should have your pet tested for internal sites at least once per year. Sniaml with gastrointestinal issues and puppies will likely need these examinations of their fecal matter more often though. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.