State College Veterinary Hospital usually recommends checking a stool sample at least once a year for all pets. This is extremely important for pets that go outside and for households that have small children. When we check the fecal sample we are looking for common parasites like roundworm and hookworm, both of which can result in very serious health conditions. More than 1/3 of the nation's dogs are infected with intestinal parasites. And the Centers for Disease Control estimates between one and three million people are infected each year in the U.S.
There are as many as 4%–20% of children in the U.S. contract roundworms from their pets each year. Children are one of the groups that are most susceptible to infection because they are always grabbing, touching and sticking their hands in their mouths without regard to whether they are clean.**
The good news is that these parasites are preventable. Please collect the sample in a zip lock plastic bag and bring it into the hospital with in 24 hours. The test usually cost around $15.00 and only takes about 10 minutes. If an animal test positive we can send you home with the appropriate medications and informational handouts.
** Novartits Animal Health