If your pet might be infected with intestinal parasites your vet will perform a fecal exam in order to diagnose their condition and offer treatment as soon as possible. Here, our Snellville vets talk about how fecal exams help to keep you, your cat or dog and your family safe from parasites and what to expect during the process.
Fecal Exams for Dogs & Cats
Dog and cat fecal exams are diagnostic procedures performed at the veterinary clinic. Fecal exams will reveal if your pet is suffering from any intestinal parasites such as roundworms or hookworms. These parasites can cause major discomfort and pain in your pet, and potentially lead to more serious conditions and be transmitted to humans.
These parasites can only be diagnosed using fecal exams as they live within the GI tract, therefore annual fecal exams are a recommended part of your pet's annual wellness checkups.
What is a fecal exam used to diagnose?
There are a number of internal parasites that can be diagnosed using dog or cat fecal exams such as hookworms and roundworms. These intestinal parasites make pets feel unwell and can lead to a number of very serious conditions if they are left untreated.
Intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hidden from view. Fecals are the best way to detect parasites that otherwise might go undetected and infect other pets or even people in your household.
How should you prepare for your dog or cat's fecal exam?
Simply bringing a fresh sample of your pet's stool to your vet as quickly as possible, within 4 to 6 hours is ideal.
Dehydrating or drying out can kill many of the parasites hiding within your pet and could mask their presence when viewed under a microscope. Be sure to drop your pet's stool sample off for testing on the same day as collection for accurate results.
How often should fecal exams for dogs and cats be performed?
Our Snellville vets recommend annual fecal exams for healthy pets. Animals with gastrointestinal issues, and puppies, may require more frequent fecal exams. Your veterinarian will let you know how frequently your pet should have fecal exams done.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.