Taking your pet’s poop into the vet with them as part of their yearly checkup is an essential part of your pets healthcare plan.
Some people may think otherwise but keep in mind that any pet at any age is at risk for getting parasites and a lot of these parasites can be transmitted to humans.
Having your pet’s poop sample checked 1-2 times a year is part of being a responsible pet owner.
But when, where and how do you get that poop sample successfully to the vets office?
We’ve got you covered!
Here’s 5 tips on getting that all important stool sample to your vet!
1. The fresher the better. If your dog’s poop has sat out in the back yard for 3 days, leave it there. A 3 day poop sample is not very diagnostic. The same goes for cat poop. A cat poop that has been sitting in the litter box for 3 days and is severely dehydrated, you know, it cracks like a stick, is not a good sample. Fresh samples(within 24 hours) provide better and more accurate results so try your best to snag a sample as soon as your pet poops.
2. Storage is key. You want to preserve the sample as best as you can. If your pet has an appointment in the afternoon but only poops in the morning, that’s o.k. You can store it in the fridge, or in cooler weather, store it outside. Do not store it in the freezer or leave it baking in the hot sun, this will make for a bad sample.
3. Bigger is not better. Most vets and labs only need a small amount of poop to run a fecal sample. About the size of 2 sugar cubes. (double-check with your vet just to be sure) You do not need to bring the whole pile of poop.
4. Pick your container wisely. Most vet offices should have fecal containers for you to take home and collect a sample. Other containers that work well are old pill bottles, or plastic containers. Plastic bags can work well but they can leak so make sure that you’re double bagging the sample. Poop bags work awesome and are great for all involved!! Make sure you also label the sample with your pet’s name.
5. Make sure you’re bringing poop. It sounds crazy but a clump of kitty urine can often be confused for cat poop but a cat urine sample will be rejected when checking for fecal parasites.
Which pets should have poop samples tested? Every pet!
Why should poop samples be tested? Stool samples help your veterinarian decide if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia. Intestinal parasites hang out in your pet’s GI tract where you can’t see them. The only way to detect the presence of an intestinal parasites is to look at a poop sample under the microscope and check for eggs. Some of the parasites that a pet may have can be passed onto other pets and humans.
How long does the test take? Some veterinarians will do a fecal float or fecal smear in house and this usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Other veterinarians choose to send fecal samples out to the lab and this can take 1-2 business days.
Do you have any other tips to add? Maybe some secrets you are keeping about how you get your dog’s poop to the vet? Please share!
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