Annual fecal exams allow your vet to monitor your pet for parasites and potential conditions that may arise from them. Our Brookhaven vets discuss what fecals are and why you should bring your pet in for routine fecal exams.
What is a fecal exam?
During a fecal exam, your vet will perform a microscopic examination of your pet's feces, which is completed at your veterinarian's office. These annual fecals exams will help your vet to diagnose any potential conditions involving parasitic infections and allow your vet to administer treatment in a timely manner before your pet's condition worsens or potentially transmits it to other pets or people within your household.
What are fecals used to detect?
When performing fecal exams your vet will examine the stool for any signs of parasites such as hookworms and roundworms. These parasites can cause various gastrointestinal issues which in turn will make your pet 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.
What do I need for the fecal exam?
Get a fresh stool sample and bring it to your vet's office the same day, ideally within 4 to 6 hours for the most accurate results.
If a stool sample begins to dry out then the parasite may dehydrate and become undetectable during the exam.
How often does my pet need a fecal exam?
Your pet should have a fecal exam performed annually at the very least. If you have a puppy or animal that suffers from gastrointestinal issues they may need fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.