What is a fecal exam?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your pet's stool, which is completed at your vet's office. These annual fecals will help your veterinarian to identify and treat any infections that could be compromising your pet's health, and even the health of your family members.
What do fecals detect?
Veterinarians 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 can lead to many more serious issues. A number of parasites may even be transmitted to people.
Intestinal parasites live hidden within your pet's gastrointestinal tract. 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 from your pet and bring it to your vet’s office right away. If this is not possible, refrigerate the sample.
It is imperative not to allow the stool sample to dry out. Freezing the sample or exposing it to hot weather will destroy many of the potential parasites in the sample, and ruin the sample for testing.
How often does my pet need a fecal?
You should have your pet tested for internal parasites at least annually. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal issues may benefit from fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.