Bringing your pet into your vet's office for an annual fecal exam is the best way to keep your furry companion and your family safe from intestinal parasites. Yearly fecals give your Jacksonville vet an opportunity to check for intestinal parasites before more serious conditions occur.
What is a fecal exam?
Every year, your veterinarian should perform a fecal exam — a microscopic examination of your pet's feces. These annual fecals will help your vet to identify and treat any infections that may compromise your pet's health, and even the health of members of your household.
What do fecals detect?
When performing the fecal exam, your vet will check for any indications of parasites such as roundworms or hookworms. These parasites can make pets uncomfortable and irritable and may lead to many more serious issues. Numerous parasites can even be transmitted to people.
Intestinal parasites lurk in your pet's gastrointestinal tract so cannot be seen easily. That's why fecals are the best way to detect their presence.
How do I prepare for my pet's fecal?
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 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 need fecal exams more frequently. Ask your vet how often you should bring your pet's stool sample in for a fecal.