Testing a pet’s fecal and urinary samples is an essential part of maintaining their overall wellness. By checking for abnormalities or parasites in their feces and urine, your vet can diagnose and treat any potential health issues early on. Additionally, regular testing can help prevent the spread of infections to other pets and humans in your family. By bringing fresh samples to your pet’s annual check-up, you can play an active role in ensuring your furry friend’s long-term health and well-being.
At Bronx Veterinary Center, we care about your pet’s wellness, and a key component of preventive care is the fecal exam. It’s a misconception that only young pets are at risk of getting worms. Any pet at any age can get infected, and many of these parasites can be transmitted to humans. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to have your pet’s stool sample checked 1-2 times a year. Regular fecal exams are considered routine care and can help detect the presence of these parasites. Testing the stool and de-worming treatments are essential for your pet’s health and your family’s safety.
Tips for Collecting and Transporting Pet’s Poop Sample to the Vet
- The fresher the poop, the better: Within 24 hours is ideal. Avoid 3-day-old poop
- Store the sample in the fridge or outside if the appointment is later
- Bigger is not better: Most vets and labs need a small amount (about two sugar cubes)
- Label with your pet’s name!
When transporting fecal samples, use a provided fecal container, old pill bottle, or plastic container (double bag if using a plastic bag, label with pet’s name). You can also use poop bags! They work great and are convenient. If you need to gather the poop, use a plastic spoon (for collecting poop, to be thrown away afterward).
As pet owners, we must care for our furry friends and keep them healthy. One aspect of preventive care that is often overlooked is urine testing. Urine testing is a crucial diagnostic tool for detecting many health issues in pets, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. These conditions, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems and even shorten your pet’s life span.
Regular urine testing is especially important for older pets, as they are more susceptible to developing age-related health issues. However, pets of any age can benefit from urine testing, especially if they exhibit symptoms such as frequent urination, blood in urine, and straining while urinating.
Urinalysis is a routine test that reports the physical and chemical properties of urine. It is used mainly to assess the health of the kidneys and urinary system. Still, it can also reveal problems in other organ systems and is important for diagnosing metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. It is a valuable test for healthy and sick animals and should be included in any comprehensive evaluation of a pet’s health.
Collecting And Transporting Your Pet’s Pee
There are three main ways to collect urine in cats and dogs: Cystocentesis, catheterization, mid-stream free flow
Mid-stream free flow:
Urine is voluntarily voided, collected into a sterile container mid-stream
- Advantages: non-invasive, pet owner can collect a urine sample at home
- Disadvantages: it may be difficult to collect mid-stream, and it is more likely to be contaminated
When your dog squats or lifts its leg to pee, carefully place your collection container into its urine stream and gather a sample of their pee. Try to get the sample midstream. Immediately cover the container after collection so as not to contaminate or spill it. Once collected, keep the sample on ice in a cooler or in the fridge if you won’t be taking it directly to your vet. Ideally, it should be delivered to your veterinarian within a couple of hours after collection. This helps to ensure the most reliable and accurate results of the testing.
During Cystocentesis, we use a sterile needle and syringe used, ideal for assessing the bladder and kidneys, detecting bacterial infection
- Advantages: not contaminated by debris, assesses bladder and kidneys
- Disadvantages: slightly invasive, difficult to do on uncooperative pets
During a cystocentesis procedure, a sterile needle and syringe collect urine directly from the bladder. Cystocentesis is ideal for assessing the health of the bladder and kidneys and detecting bacterial infections. By providing a direct and uncontaminated sample, Cystocentesis can give veterinarians a clearer picture of a pet’s urinary tract health and allow for prompt and accurate treatment if necessary.
A narrow sterile catheter passed into the bladder.
- Advantages: less invasive than Cystocentesis
- Disadvantages: mild irritation to the urethra, may carry bacteria from urethra to bladder
Catheterization is a less invasive alternative to Cystocentesis and can provide a direct sample for testing. By avoiding the need for a needle, catheterization can be a more comfortable option for pets and may reduce stress and discomfort during the testing process. It is important to note that only a licensed veterinarian should perform catheterization in a sterile environment to minimize the risk of infection.