“Please remember to bring us a stool sample!” A lot of clients chuckle to themselves when the receptionist says that. Why are we so eager for you to bring us a nugget of your pet’s stool?
Annual fecal screenings help us ensure that your pet is as healthy as possible and free from parasitic infections that can cause intestinal damage. This can happen with or without physical symptoms, so the best way to protect your pet is to bring us that sample!
What kinds of intestinal parasites are there, and how might your pet be at risk? There are a variety of regularly found internal parasites that may take up residence in your pet’s gastrointestinal system. Tapeworms, for example, actually develop inside fleas. Your pet can easily ingest an adult flea, inside or outside your home, with the infective tapeworm – even one single flea can pose a threat to your pet’s gastrointestinal health!
Unlike tapeworms and roundworms, both of which are generally seen in the stool or crawling near your pet’s rear end, some intestinal parasites are so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Whipworm and hookworm infections can only be diagnosed with a microscopic examination to detect eggs in the stool. Believe it or not, an adult female hookworm may produce as many as 20,000 eggs every day!
Brown-bag it, Ziploc it, or put it in an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter container—we’re happy to check a stool sample at any time, so please drop one at the front desk!