We ask that our clients bring in a stool sample to accompany their annual physical and vaccinations. While there is no test to definitively diagnose or rule out parasites, a stool sample is our best way of doing so. No parasites found does not guarantee a patient does not have parasites but rather that they were not shedding eggs at the time the sample was collected. Typically we would expect patients with a heavy parasite burden to come back positive for something.
Intestinal parasites can cause malnutrition, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia. Besides making our pets sick, many of these parasites can affect people, which we call zoonotic. In extreme cases, things like roundworms have been documented to infect human anatomy including the liver, lungs, eyes and brain.
Unfortunately, no one de-wormer treats all different parasites – it is for this reason we strongly recommend a fresh fecal sample be tested as well.