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To the Rescue: Stool Samples Made Easy

One of the ickiest, but most important, parts of a dog's annual checkup is the stool sample. Usually we scoop poop several times a day, but it goes straight into the trash without a second thought. However, most vets require and request this very deposit to check for worms and other diseases. For first time visitors, the logistics (How much? How fresh?) can be baffling. Here's a simple how-to for this doodoo must do:

  1. Mark a freezer-style resealable plastic bag with your pet's name, your name and collection date.
  2. Turn this bag inside out being careful to have the sealing part safely covered.
  3. After your dog's most recent meal before the doc's visit, bring this bag along with your normal scooper of choice.
  4. Collect a small deposit (like one poop) – they actually don't test much more than a tablespoon – and seal up the bag taking care not to smush it.

It's as easy as that! Labeling helps make certain your pup's sample is correctly matched – remember, less is more, and fresh is best.

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fltaz15 fltaz15 8 years
Yes, Along with roundworm, and giardia, Hookworms can transmitted to humans as well. They could have whipworms as well. Make sure the pet is on flea prevention-if they ingest fleas-the results is tapeworms (look like white rice segments)-which you see in the stool, not just under a microscope.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
If your dog isn't on any type of deworming medication (Heartgard, Interceptor, Sentinel etc.), it's important to have them fecal tested a few times a year to make sure they don't have any parasites. Routine screening is especially important because they might have a parasitic infection without showing any symptoms. Another important reason for fecal testing is that some parasites can be transmitted to humans. Ingested roundworm eggs can hatch and travel throughout our bodies, the larvae can infect the eye and cause permanent blindness. Giardia is another nasty parasite, if anyone has been infected they can attest to this! Severe abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea are symptoms of infection. Dogs can be carriers of Giardia without showing any symptoms whatsoever. There are two things you can do to help prevent you and your pets chance of infection. Put your dog (and cat!) on monthly deworming medication. Have your vet perform routine fecal testing. And of course, always always wash your hands if you handle their poop!
aka-Daria aka-Daria 8 years
none of my dogs have ever had to do this...straaange.
Frika Frika 8 years
our old vet used to stick this thing in their butt to get it out, but it looked like it hurt. our new vet gives you a tube when you have your visit, in a ziplock with gloves. the tube is labelled for your pet, and it has like a scoopy attached to the inside of the top. they just ask you to collect and bring it to them within 72 hours of their visit. it has directions, asking you to put it in the fridge if you are waiting to drop off, but not to freeze it.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
hmm our 10 year old dog's numerous vets have never requested this! how strange!
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