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The Importance of Regular Fecal Exams for Pets

Annual fecal exams defend your pets and household from parasitic infections most effectively. Our veterinarians in Zeeland explain the process and importance of fecal exams in maintaining your pet's health.

What is a fecal exam?

Fecal exams, also known as "fecals," involve veterinarians conducting microscopic examinations of your pet's feces. These exams aid in identifying and treating infections that might otherwise be challenging to detect. If your veterinarian is diagnosing an illness in your cat or dog or conducting a routine wellness examination, they may request a sample of your pet's feces.

Annual fecal exams for dogs hold significance due to their frequent outdoor exposure, which increases their vulnerability to bacteria and parasites present in the environment. Similarly, cat fecal exams are crucial, especially for indoor cats, as they are prone to contracting parasites from ingesting inappropriate substances.

What do fecals detect?

A fecal exam can detect numerous intestinal parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms. Intestinal parasites cause pets to feel irritable and uncomfortable, potentially leading to more severe health issues. Additionally, it's crucial to recognize that certain intestinal parasites can be transmitted from pets to humans.

Intestinal parasites reside within your pet's gastrointestinal tract, concealed from sight. Annual fecal exams enable your vet to identify and address intestinal parasites promptly.

While annual fecal exams for your pets are essential, it's also important to be aware of symptoms indicating parasitic infection in cats and dogs:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Food avoidance
  • Excessive hunger
  • Blood in stool

How do I prepare for my pet's fecal?

When you bring a fecal sample to the veterinarian, ensure you get a fresh sample of your pet's stool to the vet's office on the same day they expect you. Allowing the stool sample to dry out or dehydrate will kill off many potential parasites, potentially masking their presence in the sample. Therefore, delivering your pet's stool sample to us within 4-6 hours of collection will provide the most accurate results.

How often does my pet need a fecal?

Our veterinarians recommend testing all dogs and cats annually for parasites across all locations on our website. Puppies and animals with gastrointestinal issues may need more frequent fecal exams. Consult your vet to determine the appropriate frequency for testing your pet's stool sample.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Caring for Pets in Zeeland

Zeeland Veterinary Service is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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