Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
The Importance of Poop: Pet Fecal Testing
Your pet’s bowel movements may not be the most pleasant part of pet ownership, but poop is important. A stool sample can tell us a lot about an animal’s overall health, digestive function, and parasite status, and can hold a wealth of clues when it comes to diagnosing and treating illness.
Learn why your vets at Rocklin Ranch are so big on pet fecal testing when it comes to the health and happiness of your furry family member.
The Scoop on Poop
Pet fecal testing is an important part of wellness care. It can also be important if your pet is showing signs of illness in order to help us to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If we request that you bring in a stool sample, please remember:
- One gram of feces is plenty for most fecal tests. This is roughly equivalent to the size of a dice.
- Fresh is best. While the sample doesn’t need to still be warm in most instances, within three hours is ideal.
- Frozen poop is a no-go as the freezing process can destroy parasite eggs and other clues we may be looking for.
- If you are obtaining a sample from the litter box, some litter is okay. Just be sure that what is hiding in the clump is stool and not urine.
- Don’t forget that the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends that fecal examinations should be performed on puppies and kittens two to four times in the first year of life and at least once or twice yearly for adult pets.
Pet Fecal Testing
So what are we looking for when we request a stool sample?
Most times, during pet fecal testing we are on the hunt for parasites. Pets can pick up parasites in the backyard or at the park. Even indoor animals might run across a rodent, bug, or flea that potentially carries a parasite. Because animals lick their paws and coats, drink water out of puddles, and chew on balls or sticks that have contact with the ground, they are at high risk of contracting parasites.
Animals who take a monthly parasite preventative are at lower risk of infection, but no product protects against every possible parasite. Some of these parasites are also transmissible to humans, making vigilant detection important.
A stool sample can also help us to diagnose things like food allergies, intestinal bleeding, viral infections like parvovirus, or be used to search for DNA evidence of different pathogens. The consistency and frequency of bowel movements, as well as the presence of blood, mucus, or foreign material, can help us to accurately diagnose sick pets.
Our Fecal Collection Instructions
Please fill the provided container approximately 1/4 of the way full with a fresh stool sample. If you are unable to bring the sample to our office immediately please refrigerate the sample. The refrigerated sample needs to be submitted to our office no more than 3 hours after collection.
Routine fecal testing in pets is important. Feel free to drop off a sample today or call with any questions or concerns.