Annual veterinary fecal exams are the best way to protect your pets and family from intestinal parasites. Here, our Los Angeles vets discuss the importance of your pet's yearly fecal exams and how they can prevent the spread of intestinal parasites.
What are fecal exams?
Fecal exams are a microscopic examination of a pet's feces, that takes place at your primary care vet's office. These yearly exams help your veterinarian find and treat any infections that may be impacting the health of your cat and dog, and possibly the health of the people in your home.
What do fecal exams look for?
When performing a fecal exam your vet will check for any clues of parasites including roundworms and hookworms. These parasites can make cats and dogs very uncomfortable and irritable and has the potential to cause many more serious conditions. A handful of parasites can even be spread to people.
Intestinal parasites reside in the gastrointestinal tract of your pets, hiding out of sight. Making fecal exams the absolute best way to locate their presence.
How can I prepare for my cat or dog's 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.
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 frequently do pets require fecal exams?
You should have your cat or dog tested for intestinal parasites at least once annually. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal issues may need fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal exam.