Why Your Dog’s Fecal Exams Are Important

As a dedicated dog owner, your pooch Biff is a treasured part of your family. You understand the importance of comprehensive wellness care, and you make sure Biff sees his Reynoldsburg veterinarian regularly. You observe the vet as he examines Biff’s ears and eyes, and does a thorough hands-on review of Biff’s body to see if anything has changed. What you’ve never been able to figure out, though, is why the veterinary technician always obtains a fecal sample. Surprisingly, this poop sample is very important, as it often provides evidence that Biff has become infected with a nasty parasite.

Parasite Types – Dogs are typically infected with four main types of internal parasites: roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Other parasites might also affect dogs in specific geographic locations or climates. While most parasites live in a dog’s intestinal tract, parasites can also be found in other parts of the body and in the bloodstream.

Parasite Effects – Parasites inflict all sorts of damage on their hosts. Parasites can siphon off their host’s nourishment, attack the host’s tissues, release toxic substances into the host, or even cause the host to become anemic. Some types of parasites are zoonotic, meaning that it’s possible the parasite could be transmitted from Biff to you.

Parasite Detection – Your Reynoldsburg veterinarian can easily tell if Biff has a parasitic infection. Once you bring a fresh fecal sample to the vet’s office, or the vet tech obtains one in the exam room, the technician performs a fecal floatation test. The tech mixes a small quantity of poop with a special solution, waits about 20 minutes, and checks for any eggs that have floated to the surface. She then examines the eggs under the microscope, and transmits the results to the vet for review.

Treatment Plan – If your Reynoldsburg veterinarian can clearly confirm the presence of parasite eggs, he can prescribe the appropriate deworming treatment. In some cases, though, he doesn’t see any eggs even though Biff’s symptoms and physical exam make the vet think parasites are present. In this case, the vet might prescribe the deworming treatment to eradicate any infection that does exist.

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