What is a fecal exam?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your pet's stool, which is completed at your veterinarian's office. Annual fecals will help your vet 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?
Your veterinarian 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 could lead to much more serious issues. There are a number of parasites that can even be transmitted to people.
Intestinal parasites live within your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hiding them from view. 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 the same day, ideally within 4 to 6 hours for the most accurate results.
It's imperative not to allow the stool sample to dry out since many of the potential parasites will be killed, which in turn can mask their presence.
How often does my pet need a fecal?
Have your pet tested for internal parasites at least once a year. 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.