Responsible dog owners always make sure to clean up after their pets when they leave a stinky reminder behind them, but did you know that your dog's poop could save their life? Annual fecal exams are one of the best preventative healthcare measures available for our Sonora vets
Alright, you have my attention, but what is a fecal exam?
A fecal exam is a microscopic examination of your pet's feces, which is completed at your veterinarian's office. These 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 members of your household.
Nifty! But what do fecals detect that other examinations don't?
Your vet 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 many more serious issues. A number of parasites may even be transmitted to people.
Intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, hiding them from view. That's why fecals are the best way to detect their presence.
You've convinced me, how do I prepare for my dog'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.
One last question, how often does my dog need to come back for a fecal examination?
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.