Search Menu
should your dog have a fecal exam

Fecal Exams Can Detect Problems Before They Become Tragedies

Studies show exposure to parasites is a greater than ever and an annual fecal exam is important.

A fresh fecal examination is part of a sound yearly physical. Bring your dog’s clinician a fresh specimen, 4 to 6 hours old, not a desiccated “moon rock” or “fossil poop”. Drying out and dehydrating kills many of the potential parasites present and may mask their presence.

Recent studies show that most municipal city parks and public areas have a high incidence of canine gastrointestinal parasites (both worms and protozoans such as Giardia). Likewise, local ponds, lakes, creeks, and streams close to heavily populated areas also generally contain parasites that can affect our canine companions.

Grooming, boarding and day care facilities and dog parks provide even more possibilities for exposure. If you do participate in retrieving, hiking, cross-country skiing, jogging with your dog, agility, dog shows, etc., your dog’s exposure is even higher.

Infestation with intestinal parasites is no minor detail. Parasites can make dogs uncomfortable, irritable, and lead to other more serious conditions. Some can even be transmitted to humans.

A yearly fecal exam for your dog is thus an integral part of his yearly physical.

A version of this article originally appeared in AKC Family Dog’s “Ask Dr. Kevin” column by Kevin Fitzgerald, DVM.

This article is intended solely as general guidance, and does not constitute health or other professional advice. Individual situations and applicable laws vary by jurisdiction, and you are encouraged to obtain appropriate advice from qualified professionals in the applicable jurisdictions. We make no representations or warranties concerning any course of action taken by any person following or otherwise using the information offered or provided in this article, including any such information associated with and provided in connection with third-party products, and we will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages that may result, including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.
Get Your Free AKC download

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Download and print this vaccination schedule to help keep your puppy on track for its first year of life!
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download