Fecal Analysis for Dogs & Cats in Frederick, MD

Whether you’re bringing your pet in for a routine wellness visit, or they’re having a problem that the Old Farm Veterinary Hospital team is helping you figure out, you may be asked to consent to—or help with—a fecal analysis.

What Is a Fecal Analysis?

A fecal analysis is a test examining your dog’s or cat’s stool to detect any intestinal parasites. It screens for worms (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms) and other organisms (coccidia, Giardia). The test also can detect other stool abnormalities, such as increased bacteria.

Because some pets have intestinal parasites but don’t show any obvious clinical signs of an issue, your vet may recommend this test even if your pet isn’t sick.

How Is a Fecal Analysis Performed?

We may recommend that you bring a fresh stool sample to your pet’s appointment. This sample should be placed in a clean, labeled container or a leak-proof plastic bag. 

Your pet’s stool sample then will be visually examined for worms, blood, mucus, or foreign material such as grass, bone fragments, or anything else your pet may have eaten. It also will be examined for abnormal color, consistency, or odor.

In addition to these visual analyses, we may perform a variety of other tests, and which ones we perform may depend on whether or not we suspect your pet is sick. Some of these extra fecal analysis tests may include:

  • Direct fecal smear: A small amount of stool is placed on a microscope slide, mixed with a small amount of water or saline, and examined under the microscope. This method can help identify bacteria and some single-celled parasites.
  • Fecal flotation: A sample of the stool is placed in a plastic container and mixed with a small amount of a special solution. Eggs of a parasite will float to the top of the solution, if there are any. A clean microscope slide is then placed on the rim of the container to collect these eggs, which are then examined under the microscope.
  • Fecal centrifugation: In this test, the fecal sample is prepared the same as with a fecal flotation test. Once the solution is in the tube, it’s placed into a centrifuge, which spins the tube rapidly in a circle. The spinning force inside the tube causes any heavy materials, such as fecal debris, to sink to the bottom, while lighter material, such as parasite eggs, float to the top. The eggs are then collected and examined under a microscope.
  • Other special testing: Your pet may require other fecal testing, such as if our vets suspect a Giardia infection.

Fecal Analysis for Dogs & Cats in Frederick, MD

At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, our team of skilled veterinary professionals work hard to help your pets get healthy and stay healthy. That’s why we recommend an annual wellness exam for all pets, even when there seems to be nothing wrong with them. Schedule your appointment today!

Our Pet Care Blog Posts: