Fecal exams help to keep your beloved pet and family safe from a variety of potentially harmful parasites. Our Gardena vets talk about what fecal exams are and why your pet should have a fecal done annually.
What are fecal exams?
Fecal exams are a microscopic examination of your pet's feces that are performed annually and used by your vet to diagnose any parasitic infections that your pet may be suffering from. Once diagnosed, your vet will be able to treat the infection that may be compromising your pet's health as well as protect your family. This examination is able to easily be performed at your veterinary office during one of your pet's routine exams.
What are fecals used for?
Your vet will thoroughly inspect your dog's fecal sample for parasites such as hookworms and roundworms when performing fecal exams. These parasites can make pets irritable and uncomfortable and could possibly cause many other more severe conditions if left untreated. Many parasites are capable of being transmitted to people.
Because these parasites typically survive in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, they are most commonly hidden inside where we are unable to see them. This is why fecal exams are the best option for detecting their presence.
Do I need to prepare my dog for a fecal?
If possible it is ideal to collect and provide your vet with a fresh stool sample that is no older than 4 to 6 hours old. For the most accurate results, it must be within this time frame.
Once the fecal sample begins to dehydrate and dry out the parasites that may have been living in the sample will die off and your vet will e able to determine if there are any parasites present.
How often are fecal exams performed?
It is recommended to have fecal exams done at least once a year typically at your dog's annual wellness exam. If you have a dog or puppy that frequently experiences GI issues then fecal exams may be recommended more often. Speak with your vet about how often you should be bringing your dog in to be tested.