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Posted on 08-15-2017
Do you know why routine fecal analysis is important to your pet's health?
We promise you, this isn't a test we use just as an excuse to microscopically exam your pet's excrement! There's a reason behind our madness, and in Florida, our pets are at an increased risk for all those yucky intestinal parasites who will happily hijack their gut. Reptiles and other exotics who eat insects are also at a higher risk for exposure to parasites. Some of these parasites can infect people, so we also want to keep you and your family safe!
Symptoms of parasites in our pets can include loose stool that comes and goes, bloody or mucous in stool or diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, bloating, and lethargy. These symptoms may present acutely, or you may witness your pet feel ill off and on for several weeks with no serious, lasting symptoms; many owners tell us, "I didn't know he was sick, I just thought that he had eaten something he shouldn't have!"
We test fecal samples in two different formats - fecal floats are done most commonly, and are useful in detecting the larger parasite eggs that eventually turn into actual worms - hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms. Oftentimes, a series of simple dewormings are all that's needed to rid your pet of these pesky parasites. For more acute cases, we also run a direct sample, which aids us in detecting the teeny tiny microorganisms called "protozoa" - they won't turn into actual worms, but these tiny organisms can cause our pets to become seriously ill, and without treatment, symptoms such as dehydration and emaciation can result in death, particularly in our smaller exotic friends. Protozoa can require a more aggressive form of oral medications, and some strains are more resistant to get rid of than others.
As veterinary professionals, we feel that it is our job and our mission to educate our clients about routine wellness care and preventative measures. We recommend fecal floats at every canine and feline annual and semiannual, and we recommend fecal floats and fecal directs twice yearly for our exotic patients.
Please call us at 904-771-2781, or simply drop off a sample of your pets poo for us to test.
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