The Truth Lies In The Poop - Stool Samples

Your friends at Brook Farm Veterinary Center may ask you for a fecal sample from your pet so we wanted to explain why we ask for a fecal sample and why it's so important for your pet's overall health.

Ever wonder to yourself, why am I being asked to bring in a sample of my pet’s fecal sample?

We at Brook Farm Veterinary Center recommend fecal testing because it is an important part of your pet's preventative care. fecal samples allow us to check your pet for intestinal parasites which may be harmful to your pet and in some cases may be contagious to humans. According to Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center, 34% of dogs in the US have some kind of internal parasite, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that 14% of people in the US have been infected with the roundworm toxocara. As a result of  the Toxocara infections, approximately 700 people loose vision every year! Fecals are an important tool to ensure that your pet and your household are not infected and exposed to intestinal parasites, respectively.

What do fecals detect?

Fecals enable veterinarians to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia. Since intestinal parasites live in your pet's gastrointestinal tract, they are usually hidden from view. Unlike external parasites like fleas and ticks, most intestinal parasites are never seen. The only way to detect the presence of intestinal parasites and identify them is by doing a fecal test.

How do pets get intestinal parasites?

Pets become infected by ingesting the eggs of a parasite. This can happen by eating other animals or insects- most often fleas- which are infected, licking it off themselves after being exposed to infected material, or through the mother's womb and milk.

How to provide a fecal sample?

Samples must be FRESH (still soft and moist) within the last 4-6 hours. Collect the sample and place in the container we provide with your pet's name and your last name written on the container or use a ziplock baggie turned inside out and over your hand, or a disposable utensil, to collect a sample into a ziplock baggie. Make sure the bag is completely sealed or if using a container that the lid is tightly on. Store the sample in the fridge if it will be more than a few hours before you can bring it to Brook Farm.

NOTE: If you have multiple cats using the same litter box or outdoor dogs using the same yard, please collect a small piece from 3 different representative specimens.

How often should we test your pet’s fecal matter?

We recommend fecal testing every 2-3 weeks for puppies/kittens until they are 16-20 weeks of age. Adult pets should be tested every 6  months. These time frames correspond to times that your pet needs to come in for a wellness/ preventative care examination and vaccinations, so typically you will need to bring a sample for those appointments. 

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