Veterinarian Checkups: Urine & Stool Testing

urine-stool-testing-pets While pet owners are encouraged to bring pets in for yearly examinations, vaccination updates and heartworm tests I have found that it is equally as important to check both the urine and stools of pets on an annual basis. While many pet owners often feel their pets don’t have intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, etc.) because they don’t visually see worms in the stool, it is important to understand not all pets with intestinal parasites will have visible worms in the stool.

When stool samples are checked during a veterinary visit, microscopic examination of the stool is done in particular to look for intestinal parasite eggs.  Many parasites such as whipworms and tapeworms are difficult to detect in routine stool checks, and sometimes 3 to 5 stool checks over several days are needed to find these parasite eggs.  Certain parasites such as roundworms and hookworms can be potentially contagious to human infants making it imperative to check at least one stool sample annually on all pets.

Urine analysis testing is one of the more common forgotten and inexpensive, yet extremely useful diagnostic tests that should also be done on an annual basis. Not only can hidden urinary tract infections be detected, but many systemic diseases can often be initially detected through a urine analysis, as well as early kidney disease and crystals which can lead to the development of urinary tract stones at a future date.

The last time your pet was at the vet, did your pet have both urine and stool tests performed?

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