BMs, bowel movements, poop, all also known as feces… no matter what you call it… UVHvets wants to test it!!!

Let’s talk Poop! All cats and dogs do it but is something living in your pets’ feces??

What’s the scoop on Poop?

It’s April STOOLS day… we could have so many headers for this important blog we are sharing today….

But lets get to the point.

Tapeworm Segments on Dog Feces (appears like pieces of rice)

Let’s take this step by step! And answer five simple questions and then the UVH recommendation of how often do we screen!

1. How can you tell if my pet has parasites?

Very simple. We need a fresh sample of your pets’ feces. There are several ways for us to test the feces and look for parasites. Some parasites are visible in the feces like round worms and tapeworms.  Live round worms look like angel hair pasta.  Tapeworms look like small pieces of rice.  However, there are SO many parasites that you will never see. Louisiana is full of parasites and between our heat and humidity, we have a nice breeding ground for most GI parasites life cycle.

2. How do we test?

There are several ways for us to test the feces and look for parasites.    UVH calls this an IPS – Intestinal Parasite Screen.

Fecal tests allows us to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardiasis.  Since intestinal parasites live and hide in your pet’s GI tract, they are usually hidden from view.  The only way to detect the presence of intestinal parasites and identify them is by testing the feces.

Tapeworms are not picked up via test – they are a visible parasite. So, do not be alarmed if you see tapeworms on your pets feces but the “test” we run is clear/negative for parasites. They can be a tricky parasite and we treat when they visible.

There are three ways to test pet’s feces:

  1. Direct Fecal Smear– This can be performed the same day and involves a small sample and glass slide and microscope, limited about of sample, so limited amount of results.
  2. Fecal Flotation Test– This test involves mixing the stool sample in a special solution that allows the eggs and protozoan cysts to float to the surface. There can be considerable error if this test is not timed out correctly.
  3. Fecal Centrifugation Test– Centrifugation involves using a centrifuge to spin down a stool sample suspended in a special solution prior to performing the floatation. The parasitesare then identified microscopically based on the size, shape and characteristics of their eggs, larvae or cysts (found in the stool specimen).

Spin it. Float it. Test it. Find those parasites

Both of the direct smear and flotations tests have their use and purpose…however for the routine GI parasite screen, the test that UVH performs and recommendsis a Fecal Centrifugation Test.

One of the most important aspects of a fecal test – FRESH feces and at least 1 tsp. The more the better. Just place the sample in a Ziploc baggie and put your pets name on it!

UVHvets will send your feces out to the lab for the centrifuge test and report the results to you in 24-48 hours.


Toxocara Life cycle

3. Will parasite cause harm to my pet?




You got it.



 4. Can I get parasite from my pet?




You got it.

Intestinal parasites are a major cause of morbidity in pets and also a concern for people. According to Kansas State, 34% of dogs in the United States have some kind of intestinal parasite, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 14% of people in the U.S. have been infected with the roundworm toxocara. As a result of toxocara infections, approximately 700 people lose vision every year. IPS are an important tool to ensure that your pet and your household are not being exposed to or infected with intestinal parasites.

UVHvets really wants to test your pet to keep them healthy…AND YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY!!!!  #peoplehelpingpetshelpingpeople


From left to right – tapeworm, hookworm, and roundworms on feces from a dog.

5. NOW LETS TALK ABOUT HOW OFTEN!!! Every 6 months!!!

UVHvets wants to test your pets feces and perform a IPS – Intestinal Parasite Screen every 6 months. It is an requirement for pets that will use our UVH Unleashed services – to keep the pets and people that are at our facility healthy!


We recommend testing your pets feces every 6 months!



1. What is the CAPC?  check this out

      CAPC Parasite Testing and Protection Guided by Veterinarians

  • Conduct preventive physical examinations at least every 6 to 12 months.
  • Conduct annual heartworm testing in dogs; test cats prior to placing on heartworm preventive and thereafter as indicated.
  • Conduct fecal examinationsby centrifugation at least four times during the first year of life, and at least two times per year in adults, depending on patient health and lifestyle factors.
  • Confirm pets have been both recently tested for parasite infection and are current on broad-spectrum internal and external parasite control prior to boarding or visiting shared space animal facilities

Companion Animal Parasite Council

2. What is the CDC? Center for Disease control.

 Great information for those wanting more details.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




Always happy to talk poop and pets!

 – Dr. Catherine Foret