Generally speaking, stool testing is necessary at least once a year and when your pet has diarrhea or bloody stools.
Why do we need to check the stools yearly?
Intestinal parasites are a common problem in our pet population. Some of the most common parasites in our particular area include:
Some of these are zoonotic (diseases that can be shared with animals and people). Children and immune compromised individuals are at highest risk. Infections can lead to profound disease, blindness and other systemic illnesses.
The recommendation from CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)is to routinely screen for parasites and to do routine deworming for our pets. Based on these recommendations, we recommend bringing sample for annual and biannual exams.
What if my pet lives indoors?
We still recommend testing. Here are some facts:
- Indoor pets routinely come up positive for parasites.
- In The Veterinary Record, Feb 18, 2006, 15% of commercial potting soils were found to have roundworms?
- Insects and small rodents can carry roundworm eggs. Being indoors will not protect them from many of them such as flies and cockroaches.
- Roundworms multiply quickly! They can produce as many as 24,000 eggs a day.
- The zoonotic risk is very real and we want to protect our pet owners.
How fresh does it have to be?
We would ideally like to collect the freshest sample for analysis. That provides us with the best chance of identifying the parasite. If you cannot get it to us right away, please collect the sample and refrigerate.