5 Steps For Taking Your Pet’s Poop Sample To The Vets
Taking your pet’s poop into the vet with them as part of their yearly checkup is an essential part of your pet’s healthcare plan.
Some people may think otherwise but keep in mind that any pet at any age is at risk for getting worms and a lot of these parasites can be transmitted to humans.
Having your pet’s poop sample checked 1-2 times a year is a part of being a responsible pet owner.
But when, where, and how do you get that poop sample successfully to the vet’s office?
We’ve got you covered!
Here are 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 backyard for 3 days, leave it there.
A 3-day poop sample is not very diagnostic.
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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.
You want the poop sample to be soft, not hard and crumbly.
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?
Pets should have their stool sample checked by the veterinarian at least once a year at their annual visit.
If you’re not able to collect a poop sample from your yard, your veterinarian can use a tool called a fecal loop to get a sample from your dog.
A fecal loop is like a small wand with a little loop on the end.
Your vet can insert the wand into your dog’s rectum and retrieve a stool sample.
Why should a pet’s poop sample 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 intestinal worms 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 on to other pets and humans.
How long does the poop 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.
If you’re wondering how much a dog poop sample cost to be tested, it varies depending on your region but you can expect to pay between $25 to $50 at most clinics.
I took Odin for his annual check up yesterday, (8/23/2023) and his fecal sample test was $34.
Since they did the test in house, I got the results back before we left the animal clinic and it was negative.
Does your vet need you to bring your dog’s urine sample in too?
Most veterinarians only need a small amount of poop but always call ahead to make sure. Make sure you're bringing poop that doesn't have a lot of debris in it. Use a plastic spoon to pick poop up and place in container. Throw away spoon!
Most veterinarians only need a small amount of poop but always call ahead to make sure.
Make sure you're bringing poop that doesn't have a lot of debris in it.
Use a plastic spoon to pick poop up and place in container. Throw away spoon!