There are few places in the world that are as interested in poop as a veterinary clinic. Why may you ask? Because a fecal exam can detect evidence of intestinal parasites long before other signs are evident. Parasites can be transmitted through hunting, fleas, eating stool, even in-utero, so it is difficult to immediately know if your cat is carrying any infections. Parasitic infections may cause diarrhea, ill thrift, respiratory illness or intestinal obstruction. The majority is health issues arise as numbers build, so early detection means treatment. We also consider that some worms can be spread to humans so fecal exams are important to your health as well.
What is a cat fecal parasite screen?
A cat fecal parasite screen can mean a variety of different tests that analyze a stool sample. At Southampton Pet Hospital, we may use this term for a fecal centrifugation done in-clinic or a gastrointestinal parasite diagnostic panel that goes to an external lab. Different tests provide answers to different questions, so we review what information we are obtaining to any test we perform.
What does a fecal parasite screen reveal?
A standard fecal exam looks for the eggs of intestinal worms or the parasite itself.
How is a fecal parasite screen performed?
A routine fecal exam includes a gross assessment of stool since the quality of the stool is a reflection of intestinal health. A fecal float uses the centrifugation technique to maximize detection. After flotation is complete, the sample is examined under a microscope to identify eggs.
What is the best method for collecting my cat’s stool?
The simplest technique is to cover your hand with a plastic bag, pick up a fresh stool with that hand then roll the bag off your hand and over the fecal sample. We only need about a teaspoon-sized sample.
How much does a cat stool test cost?
A fecal exam does not require a physical exam of our patients unless there are specific health concerns. We offer a reduced fee for fecal screening with our annual examinations.