Which pets should have poop samples tested?
Pets should have their stool sample checked by the veterinarian at least once a year at their annual visit.
If you’re not able to collect a poop sample from your yard, your veterinarian can use a tool called a fecal loop to get a sample from your dog.
A fecal loop is like a small wand with a little loop on the end.
Your vet can insert the wand into your dog’s rectum and retrieve a stool sample.
How do I collect a stool sample for the vet?
Thereâs nothing fancy about it. I recommend taking a small, sealable bag when you take your dog for a walk or scoop the cat box just before the vet appointment. Using the bag like a glove, pick up a small piece. You might also want to use a plastic spoon to collect a small amount to put in the bag.
A fresher sample is ideal for finding eggs and larvae, so if you can get a sample within six hours before the appointment, youâre in luck. If itâs going to be longer than a couple of hours, double bag it and refrigerate it until youâre ready to go.
If your pet doesnât poop the morning or afternoon of the appointment, your vet will gladly accept a fresh sample whenever itâs convenient. So, no worries if you need to drop it off another time.Â
If you have multiple pets using the same litter box or toileting area, itâs a good idea to bring in three separate samples to be safe.
If I am not seeing worms in my dog’s stool, how can he still have worms?
Most intestinal worms remain within the body and are not shed in the stool. Instead, these worms lay microscopic eggs that are shed into the environment. A fecal parasite examination searches for these eggs.
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Fecal testing for dogs is routinely performed to rule out intestinal parasites that may be invading your dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) system. Several types of intestinal parasites can infect dogs, and their effects vary depending on the type of parasite and the overall health of your dog.
Fecal testing may also be performed when your dog is having acute or chronic GI tract issues, in an attempt to investigate underlying causes of the clinical signs.
Unfortunately, you can’t usually see these parasites in your dog’s feces, as they prefer to stay in the body. The parasites do, however, shed microscopic eggs in the feces, which is why you need fecal testing to look for these eggs.
Diagnosing these parasites helps vets appropriately treat and clear them from the GI system, often before they become an issue for your dog’s health.