Fecal Exams every 6 months!! Why??
Short answer? I assure you it is not because we like to play with poop, it's because parasites are gross!
All joking aside, fecal exams are a big part of the puzzle that can help us keep your pets healthy. Fecal exams allow us to check for intestinal parasites that may be wreaking invisible havoc on your pet's insides. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Coucil (CAPC) in 2015, just in Guilford County, an average of 1 out of 58 dogs tested positive for intestinal parasites.
Hook worms, Round worms, Whip worms and Tape worms are a few of the most common intestinal parasites we are screening for with those semi-annual fecal exams. These parasites may show no signs of infection (most worms are NOT visible to the naked eye) but they can also cause bloody diarrhea, anemia and in very servere cases they can cause death!
Well, how do they become infected?? Dogs and cats can become infected by ingesting soil that is contaminated. For example, when they are sniffing around outside or even when they lick their feet after a walk. They can also become infected after eating an animal or an ectoparasite, such as a dead mouse or flea...eww.
Not to freak you out even more...but, many intestinal parasites are zoonotic, which means that they can be passed from our beloved pets to us! In fact, the CDC (Center of Disease Control) says that 14% of people in the U.S. have been infected with roundworms...Think about all the snuggling we do with our fur babies. I know mine sleep in my bed and even share my pillow! And, I know that I am not the only one that lets my dogs give me kisses...
So, long story short...Fecal exams are an important tool to make sure that not only your pet, but eveyone in your house is parasite free, because let's face it...parasites are gross!