Bringing your pet’s fecal sample to us is an essential part of your pet’s overall health. Fecal samples allow the doctor to check your pet for intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are a major cause of morbidity in pets as well as being a concern for people. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34% of dogs in the United States have some kind of intestinal parasite, and 14% of people in the United States have been infected with roundworms originating from their pet.
Fecal testing is an important tool used to ensure your pet and your household are not infected or exposed to intestinal parasites.
What does a fecal test detect?
Fecal testing enables the doctor to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia. 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.
Here are 5 tips for getting that all important fecal sample to us!
1. The fresher the better.
If your dog’s fecal sample has been in the back yard for 3 days, leave it there. A 3 day old sample does not allow for an accurate diagnostic test to be performed. The same is true for your cat. A cat fecal sample that has been in a litter box for 3 days is a poor sample for testing. Fresh samples provide better results! A sample collected and tested within 12 hours is the goal.
2. Storage is key.
If your pet fecal sample is collected in the morning but you can’t go to the clinic until later in the day, that’s o.k. You can store the sample in your refrigerator using the collection kit we provide. In cooler weather, you can store the sample outside. Avoid extremes in temperature when storing a fecal sample. Never store it in the freezer or leave it in the hot sun.
3. Bigger is not better.
We only need a small amount to run a fecal test. A sample about the size of 2 large grapes is adequate.
Use the fecal collection test kit we have provided. Follow the instructions included with the kit. Be certain to complete the label included with the kit.
5. Make sure you’re only bringing fecal matter.
Cat urine can clump in a litter box and be confused for cat feces. This will result in a test that has to be rejected.
Your pets fecal test kit contains the following:
- 1 clear plastic zip lock bag
- 1 brown paper bag
- 2 latex gloves
- 1 plastic scoop
- 1 label to be completed
Before you collect the fecal sample, make sure it was deposited less than 12 hours before collection. Doing so will allow us to get the most accurate test results. Bring the sample to the clinic for testing the day of collection or the next morning.
Steps for fecal sample collection:
- Complete the label attached to the outside of paper bag.
- Identify a stool sample that was deposited less than 12 hours ago.
- Put a latex glove on each hand.
- Use the plastic scoop provided to gather a sample about the size of 2 large grapes.
- Place the sample in the plastic zip lock bag.
- Seal the plastic bag.
- Place the sealed plastic bag inside the paper bag. Fold the paper bag so it is sealed but the attached label on the outside of bag can be read.
- Dispose of plastic scoop and latex gloves.
- Bring the sample to the West Milton Veterinary Clinic. No appointment is necessary.