Fecal Worm Test FAQs

How can Giardia infection be diagnosed?

Go to our website at www.perfectpetproducts.com (FAQ > Giardia Test) for more information and costs to perform the giardia test. Diagnosis is based on demonstration of the infection and the elimination of other possible causes of diarrhea (eg: Salmonella or Campylobacter). On occasion our FECAL test may detect Giardia cysts directly in fecal samples. However, direct examination of feces, using zinc sulphate centrifugal flotation has been found to of extremely variable and inaccurate with less than 15% effective at detecting infection from a single fecal sample. The cyst output is very variable from day to day so the detection rate is not reliable. Fecal examination is the cheapest method but is time consuming and does not produce reliable results. Request our GIARDIA TEST AT HOME. Perfect Pet Products does perform the special GIARDIA TEST AT HOME( the Elisa technique using a commercial snap test made by Iddexx). This is the most commonly used and much more accurate test to perform. Studies examining the reliability of Elisa kits have found them to be over 90% accurate, with relatively few false negatives or false positives. However, the tests are more costly and require special shipping instructions-see our website. 

 Why test your pets for worms?
When you use worm medicine you never know what worm you have or if you got rid of them. Pets have seven types of worms. You can only see two types of those worms. Worms can infest your pet, your child, or yourself. The only way you can know is to test the stool. Most pets have worms and should be checked yearly. They acquire worms after walking on soil or grass, then lick their feet ingesting worm eggs. This can occur anywhere, at any time, since stray dogs, cats, rabbits, or wild birds, etc. are everywhere and most times do have worms. You have no way to prevent the exposures your pets have each day.  People frequently get worms from their pets so test your pet now, especially if you are pregnant!
1) Check to see if worms are present and which ones by testing before use of a dewormer.
2) Check the effectiveness of a dewormer: Each dewormer varies from 0-100% in effectiveness due to the various types of worms, and more commonly is 60-95% effective against the 150 different types of worms in horses. Resistance to worms is a major concern. Many worms are not affected by the usual routine dewormers currently in use, that you can buy in the store or form catalogs.
3) Determine if you have a resistance problem to various dewormers which you assume are working.
4) Check the effectiveness of your control program. Fecal examinations are effective means of monitoring the types and levels of worms, in addition are helpful in the identification of those worms that are developing resistance problems.

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 Is this test accurate?
This fecal test is as accurate as most veterinary hospitals, since we use a much more effective concentrating fluid than most animal hospitals and allow 1-4 hours of time to concentrate or centrifuge.

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 How long does it take?
We process the test within 24 hours of receipt,and call you with the results. We mail or email the written report within 7 days (if needed). It is best to send the samples on Sunday or Monday, in case the USPO delays the shipment.

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 How old can the sample be?
It is better to send a fresh sample, but the sample can be as old as 7 days when we process it to get reliable results. Your veterinarian and I need fresh samples only if we are checking for protozoan(Giardia) parasites. It is extremely difficult and rare that we can diagnose giardia on a normal fecal sample, so reading a 5-7 day old sample produces the same results as your Vet would produce. Infact since we centrifuge the samples or let them concentrate 1-4 hours our results are at least 50% more reliable.

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 Why use our test?
It is the ULTIMATE IN CONVENIENCE and is SIMPLE, EASY, AND AFFORDABLE.
This is a prepaid fecal(stool) worm test that the pet owner uses to check for the 4-6 parasites found in the stool, some of which are diseases in people as well.We help pet owners know: 1) if your pet has worms, 2) what specific dewormer to buy, and 3) whether the dewormer worked (pet owners retest 2 weeks after deworming and then 1 mo. later). Our lab can assure you that your pet is free of worms. All pets can safely be dewormed with OTC dewormers if you know what to use and we help you to know. You just take our written lab report to the store and look for the one that treats your pets type of worms.    

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 I sent you worms in a plastic bag but still got negative results?
 Most likely the worms you put in the bag disintegrated in the bag - if there is too much water(you only need 2-3 drops of water and 2-3 drops of alcohol) or the worms are tapeworms. Nearly all of the worms that you can see in the samples of any pet are either roundworms(which are round) or tapeworms( which are flat). Roundworms rarely disintegrate, so the probability of what you mailed to use being tapeworms is 98-99%. If you like you can send us another sample of the worm, enclosed in two tightly sealed bags-add 3 drops of alcohol and 3 drops of water to the worm to prevent drying and disintegration. Please include a check for $15 or your credit card data to charge you card for $15. We do the best we can with the samples provided. These issues are common in our veterinary hospital even with the freshest of samples. Please indicate in your letter and on the bag why you are sending the sample plus include this letter. We do our best to solve your pets problems.
Tapeworms are most commonly diagnosed by observation of small rice like (golden yellow) segments on the hairs by the anus, when dried, or as white to beige flat tape like worm segments when not dried.  They do not routinely show up under the microscope. 98% of the time they can only be diagnosed only by seeing them grossly (with your eye) in the stool or attached to the hair. Roundworms are white to beige and usually coil up in a circle. They look like spaghetti, but are thinner. They do not disintegrate in the bag. In older animals and especially young animals, round worms may not be detected via the fecal test when the round worms have not reached sexual maturity and are not yet producing roundworm eggs. In many cases especially cats, there may only be several worms in the gut and not enough to produce eggs at all times, or they may be all of one sex and so do not produce eggs; so the sample can not render a positive result, even though that pet has worms. The final cause of seeing a worm in samples, yet producing a negative result, especially if it has been picked up from the soil/grass, especially when it is warm outside, is the presence of maggots(produced from fly eggs) or various soil parasites which are not from the dog but crawl on to the stool sample. If you still are concerned of the results, purchase another test, collect a teaspoon of sample from 3-5 samples over 1-2 days and place them in on double bagged container, then place all contents plus the sample, in our clamshell. Keep the samples refrigerated until you have collected all and are ready to send to us.


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 What do I do if my pet has worms?
We tell you which worms your pet has. The staff of the catalog companies or store can help you decide which OTC dewormer to purchase and what steps to take in your house or yard to prevent re-infestation. SAVE at least 50% on dewormers from the store, but more importantly, finally rid your pet and your yard/home of worms. More than 90% of the pets with worms can be treated with OTC dewormer.

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 Why does my veterinarian need to use a fresh stool sample?
A. Veterinarians routinely test samples that haven't been frozen or refrigerated and are one to three days old. We also many times send samples without freezing or refrigerating to outside labs, that are 1-4 days old before they are processed. However, many times veterinarians suggest fresh samples because:1. It is mechanically easier and less time consuming to dissolve the feces when fresh.
2. This is what has been passed down to us by older veterinarians(without any research or factual basis) for decades and it is what we "have been taught".
3.  If your veterinarian suspects a protozoan disease such as Giardia, they can check for it better on a fresh sample. However, it is this is very unreliable since it is very difficult to see Giardia on this type of tests, and only rarely is it found this way. All veterinarians now use a special Idexx antigen-antibody test for Giardia which we also offer. See below.
B.  To check for worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and coccidia), the stool need not be fresh within 24 hours, but can be 3-5 days old and still be just as diagnostic. In fact the eggs will either be present or (if on hot days) hatched and appear as little worms (larvae) which are easier to see that the egg. If the stool is greater than 5 days, we usually will see 10-20% larvae and 80-90% eggs, so we can still easily diagnose the problem.

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 Fecal Occult Blood Test
If your pet is a picky eater or doesn't maintain weight, ulcers and other GI issues may be the underlying cause. Digestive issues can affect your pet's attitude and behavior as well. If your pet is withdrawn or rebels in training, these may be external signs of internal discomfort.  We often accept these behaviors as limitations of our pet's natural ability or attitude.

  • Knowing if Your Pet is Suffering is the First Step
  • Knowing if your pet is suffering from ulcers or other digestive tract conditions is the first step in managing their GI health. The Occult Blood Test will help diagnose underlying conditions or other serious GI problems, including both gastric and colonic ulcers.
  • It's important that you make a diagnosis as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, existing common methods of diagnosing digestive tract conditions are limited. Gastric endoscopy is reliable, but costly.
  • Many veterinarians and owners alike rely on symptoms to guide their diagnosis. But this approach is hindered by the fact that symptoms typically associated with digestive tract injury may also be associated with a variety of other conditions. And using treatment as diagnosis requires incurring an expense while waiting days, or even weeks, to determine if the course of action was the right one.
  • A Fecal Occult Test is an important screening test to aid in prevention and early detection, by providing objective data that indicates issues throughout the GI tract in just minutes.
  • How an Early Diagnosis Can Help
  • Early screening may lead to prevention and early detection. A Fecal Occult Blood Test is the first way to screen for ulcers, and other bleeding disorders, cancer, and polyps (the cancer which is too small to be visible).
  • How Often Should your Pet be Tested?
  • This test should be conducted as many times (usually 2-4 times) to get consistent results.
  • Ingestion of non digestible materials such as metals, pins, wood, cloth, irritating chemicals, poisonous plants or irritating drugs (NSAIDs) by any horse or livestock may cause irritation or ulcers leading to blood loss. This will cause the Fecal Occult Blood Test to be positive. These conditions may heal on their own causing results to alternate from positive to negative and then back to positive again as the eating habits vary.
  • If the results are consistently negative this is a significant indication of the lack of disease in your pet.
  • If the test is consistently positive, and consistently negative for worms, then your pet may have a significant bleeding disorder. You should contact your veterinarian immediately. Used properly, this test can be a helpful diagnostic screening aid to early detection.
  • Collecting Sample
  • A Fecal Occult Blood Test is a non-invasive diagnostic aid that measures trace amounts of blood in the feces. Simply collect fresh feces in a plastic bag and mail to our Veterinary Lab.
  • If this test is consistently positive (2-3 tests) or has a strong positive response, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.

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 What animals do we test for worms?
We test all species of pet or livestock (except for fish). Animals include: dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, birds, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle, etc.

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 Why  did my sample produce negative results but weeks later was positive for worms?
In many cases especially cats, there may only be several worms in the gut and not enough to produce eggs at all times, or they may be all of one sex and so do not produce eggs; so the sample can not render a positive result, even though that pet has worms.

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 What are the advantages of this test?
1. CONVENIENCE. You save time.
2. SAVE UP TO 50% ON DEWORMERS. You will be able to buy most dewormers at the store,or by catalog, and save at least 50%. You will know which specific dewormer to buy.
3. SAVE 10-25% on the cost of a fecal exam and in many cases $40-65 on an exam.                                                                                                                   
4. ACCURATE RESULTS - From a veterinary lab. We allow the sample to concentrate at least 4 hours. In addition, we centrifuge any samples that are questionable.
5. FINALLY, YOU WILL REALIZE WHICH DEWORMER TO BUY.
We make it easy for you to buy the right wormer. You can use the correct wormer and then recheck to be sure that your pet is free of worms, all without leaving your home.

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 I saw a worm in the sample but you reported the results as negative.  How can that be?
Most likely the worms you put in the bag disintegrated in the bag - if there is too much water. (You only need 2-4 drops of water). However, roundworms rarely disintegrate, so the probability of it being tapeworms is 95-99%. If you like you can send us another sample of the worm, enclosed in two tightly sealed bags-add 2 drops of alcohol and 2 drops of water to the worm to prevent drying and disintegration. Please include a check for $18 or your credit card data to charge you card for $18. We do the best we can with the samples provided. These issues are common in all veterinary hospitals, even with the freshest of samples. 

Tapeworms and round worms are the only worms visible to the eye that are parasites to you or your pet. Tapeworms are most commonly diagnosed by observation of small rice like (golden yellow) segments on the hairs by the anus, when dried, or as white to beige flat tape like worm segments when not dried. They do not routinely show up under the microscope. 98% of the time they can only be diagnosed by seeing them grossly (with you eye) in the stool or attached to the hair.

Roundworms are white to beige and usually coil up in a circle. They look like spaghetti, but are thinner. In older animals and especially young animals, round worms may not be detected via the fecal test when the round worms have not reached sexual maturity and are not yet producing roundworm eggs.

In many cases especially cats, there may only be several worms in the gut and not enough to produce eggs at all times, or they may be all of one sex and so do not produce eggs; so the sample can not render a positive result, even though that pet has worms.

The final cause of seeing a worm in samples, yet producing a negative result, especially if it has been picked up from the soil/grass, especially when it is warm outside, is the presence of maggots (produced from fly eggs) or various soil parasites which are not from the dog but crawl on to the stool sample.

If you still are concerned of the results, purchase another test, collect a teaspoon of sample from 3-5 samples over 1-2 days and place them in on double bagged container, then place all contents plus the sample, in our clam shell. Keep the samples refrigerated until you have collected all and are ready to send to us. Send on a Sunday thru Tuesday directly to our Veterinary hospital at: Animal Care Center 1281 E. Napier Ave. Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

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 The Only Visible Worms are Tapeworms and Round Worms.
Tapeworms would be the most commonly seen. They appear as small rice like (golden yellow) segments on the hairs by the anus, when dried, or as white flat tape like worms when not dried. They do not routinely show up under the microscope. 98% of the time you diagnose those by seeing them in the stool or attached to the hair. Roundworms are white and usually coil up in a circle. The look like spaghetti, but thinner.

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 What do Tapeworms look like?
Tapeworms and round worms are the only worms visible to the eye that are parasites to you or your pet. Tapeworms are most commonly diagnosed by observation of small rice like (golden yellow) segments on the hairs by the anus, when dried, or as white to beige flat tape like worm segments when not dried. The eggs that we need to diagnose the presence of worms are not produced and therefore do not routinely show up under the microscope.

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 How did my pet get tapeworms?
Tapeworms are spread by infestation of fleas and ingestion of flea eggs when licking, biting, or chewing at themselves, or ingestion of small animals such as rabbits. Your pet will continue to re-infest itself every 6-12 weeks unless you rid it of the tapeworms, but then eliminate the source.

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 Can worms be a problem for pet owners?
Absolutely, which is why everyone should check their pets at least 1-2 times per year, EVEN if inside, since you can track the worm eggs in on your shoes. The more your pet is outside the more often you should test the stool sample. Also, if you have children, immune compromised individuals, or seniors in your household you should test more often (every 2-4 months).

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 Can worms be a problem for me or my family members?
Recommendations of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (the leading source of information to veterinarians in America) states: "Ascarids, hookworms, and whipworms are the most common intestinal nematodes in companion animals. Ascarids(roundworms) and hookworms are a significant cause of zoonotic disease. Several tapeworms of dogs and cats can also cause zoonotic infections. Environmental transmission stages(contact with other animals stool/feces) are a source of infection for pets and humans."

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 How do I get rid of Tapeworms?
Tapeworms will continue to re-infest your pet unless you get rid of the source by treat ALL of your pets for fleas or keep them from hunting outside, especially for rabbits. To treat the tape worms you should contact the company that you bought the test kit from or buy over the counter de-wormers for tapeworms sold at most pet/farm supply stores or call your veterinarian and ask for a tapeworm product. (Most veterinarians will prescribe a product with out an exam). You should always first check the fecal sample for which worms your pet has then deworm for the correct type of worm.

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 How often should pet owners check their pet's stool samples?
Recommendations of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (the leading source of information to veterinarians in America) states that appropriately conducted fecal examinations should be performed:

       Two to four times during the first year of life (may be associated with vaccine schedule);

       One to two times per year in adult pets, depending on patient health and lifestyle factors.

       Puppies and kittens require more frequent testing than adult dogs and cats, because: they often are serially re-infected via nursing and from the environment and they often harbor parasite larvae
       in migration that later mature and commence egg laying.

       Intestinal parasite infections in puppies and kittens may cause serious illness or even death before a diagnosis is possible, so check their stool (feces) as soon as possible by fecal examination.

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 Why should I test my cat, dog or small pocket pet for fecal worms?
Nearly all puppies and kittens have worms.At least 20% of adult dogs have worms. The most common worms (hookworms and roundworms) are contagious to people, especially children. In some countries 80% of the people have worms. Pregnant women and mothers should be especially careful with their pets stool. There are 7 common worms of animals. Only 2 of them are visible to the human eye. The most serious worms are invisible to your eye. Use this at home worm test for the following reasons:                                                                                                                                                                     
1. SAVE 20-50% on our stool test.
2. Save 50% or more on dewormers.
3. Extremely accurate test results!
4. Convenient, just mail to our laboratory.
5. Receive written results-you will know which OTC dewormers to use-save on dewormers!
6. Many worms of pets infect humans. If you have children, test each of your pets.

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