Tails of Seattle: A pets blog
Veterinary Q&A: Poop as a diagnostic tool
Fecal testing: A fecal flotation test is set up at Phoenix Central Laboratory in Mukilteo. A flotation technique uses a solution and either passive or active flotation to separate parasite eggs from debris in the sample and allow them to be identified under a microscope by egg size and morphology.
Question: Vets typically want to test a stool sample from our pets during an annual exam. It can be a smelly and messy collection, and many pet owners ignore the request. How valuable a diagnostic tool is poop?
Answer: The importance of a routine fecal examination and deworming has grown in recent years.
A fecal exam is very helpful in health and disease. It will identify most gastrointestinal parasites in a healthy pet and those that may be causing disease in a sick pet with a variety of signs, including diarrhea, vomiting, poor skin and hair coat, weight loss, etc.
Most pets acquire parasite infections from the environment because parasite eggs often can exist for long periods of time in the soil and grass. Fecal examinations in healthy pets will identify asymptomatic shedders, allowing us to treat them, eliminate shedding,
serving to reduce overall contamination and exposure of other pets to infection.