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Providing a Fecal Sample

February 6th, 2012, 06:14 PM
Hello everyone -

So, Connor is due for his annual vet check-up and his booster shots on Wednesday. We'll also have to do a blood test for heartworm (required by the vet every second year) and buy his year long supply of Sentinel.

Of course, we're happy to do all of these things for him, but I am wondering about the fecal test. Do you have any opinions on whether this is necessary? Connor is on Sentinel year round due to all the dogs around our apartment building and I know he does not have worms. However, the vet assistant told me that the fecal test checks for giardia as well. Does anyone know how common this is? I will probably end up getting it done anyways, but we're trying to keep the costs to a minimum given that our vet gets at least half our salaries as it is!

Any opinions would be appreciated, but please be sure that I will always do the best thing for my dogs! Thanks!


February 7th, 2012, 07:57 AM
He's on Sentinel for a whole year? Hmmm, I'm in a similar climate and my boy is only on it for six months. Have you checked on heartworm incidence reports for your area?

I don't do the fecal every year. I do it when I think maybe there is something going on. But, check on your Vet's billing practice, you might be paying for it anyway. I was, at a previous Vet it was included in the price. If it's not a big deal to you money wise, and it certainly causes the dog no concern, then having it done is just another little check you can do on health.

February 7th, 2012, 11:09 AM
Thanks for the advice. I think we'll probably get it done. Both of our dogs are on the Sentinel year-round because it protects from various worms, fleas, and heartworm. We live in an apartment building with a lot of dogs around all the time and many owners are irresponsible with poop scooping. We don't like to take the risk with the worms because my boy Connor had them for a long time before I got him and, even after they were gone, the vet thought they might have left some lasting damage because he has a sensitive digestive system.

February 7th, 2012, 11:30 AM
Hi Serena!!

Nookie has had Giardia a couple of times. The fecal would tell you. But if there are no symptoms, it's doubtful. It causes diarrhea and (in Nookie anyway) general malaise as well as occasional vomitting. Nookie did have hook and whip worms a few months ago, so we get his stools tested every 3 months or so, just to make sure we haven't missed any eggs that may have hatched. As for the Sentinel, we don't use any preventatives as they shouldn't be given to dogs who are prone to seizures, the same as vaccines. We just treat him when they are detected. But... that being said, we don't live in an area prone to HW. If we did, it may be worth the risk of seizures. A fecal can tell you other things too, though. So if it's an annual checkup, it might be worth doing.

Keely is looking so good!!!