We recommend checking a fecal (poop) sample to screen for intestinal parasites once yearly in all dogs and cats, as well as whenever your pet has developed vomiting or diarrhea. Even indoor pets can pick up parasites, and some intestinal parasites can be spread to humans- especially small children or immunocompromised individuals. Please plan to bring a fecal sample to your pet's visit if they are due for their annual fecal test, or if they are experiencing GI upset.
Tips for a collecting an accurate fecal sample:
- Aim to bring us at least 5 grams of stool
- This is about one teaspoon, or the size of about two marbles
- No frozen samples, please!
- Freezing damages parasite eggs and makes them difficult to identify
- Samples should be no more than 24 hours old
- If the stool is hard or crumbly, it is too dry for testing
- Stools that have been outside on grass for several hours often get contaminated with fly larva or other types of parasites; fresher is better!
For more information about intestinal parasites, click here.
For owners of other species (i.e. rabbits, ferrets, chickens), fecal testing is not done routinely but may be recommended if your pet is having diarrhea. If you aren't sure if the veterinarian will want a sample, we recommend bringing one with just in case!