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Why does my vet want a stool sample from my pet?

Has your vet asked for a poo (faecal) sample from your pet? Have you ever wondered what these samples can tell us? Our vet explains how to collect a suitable sample and what tests can be done to help your pet.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

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How do I collect a suitable poo sample from my pet?

Fresher samples are always better samples to take for analysis. Parasites can become undetectable in old, dry stools. It is recommended that the sample is collected the same day as it is going to be taken into your vet. If a three day pooled sample is required, or a fresh sample is not possible, then collect and double bagged the sample and place it in the fridge until your vet visit.

A video of how to collect a suitable poo sample can be found here.

What can be detected from a poo sample for pets?

Poo samples are a very useful diagnostic tool. They can be used to detect:

  • Parasites (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm)

  • Protozoa (Giardia and coccidia)

  • Bacteria

  • Viruses

  • Blood

  • Digestive problems

When is a stool sample needed for pets?

Your vet will usually request a poo sample if first line treatments for digestive issues are not effective, such as:

  • Blood or mucous in the stool

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Weight loss

  • Abdominal discomfort

How long does it take to get results back from a stool sample for my pet?

This depends on the test being carried out. Some tests, such as parasite examinations, can come back in a few days. However, other tests, such as bacterial cultures, may take longer (especially with slower growing bugs!). Your vet will contact you as soon as the results are available.

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