Stop all the stool-checking you may be doing, this idea is definitely fiction.

Dogs and cats are susceptible to many types of parasitic worms that live in the intestines, including roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. Sometimes, you can see segments of tapeworms in the pet’s stool (they look like pieces of rice) or roundworms (they look similar to spaghetti).

However, your pet could still have these parasites without passing any in their stool. Also, some parasites, like hookworms and giardia, cannot be seen by the naked eye. The best way to check for parasites is through an intestinal parasite test, also known as a fecal test. This requires a small sample of your pet’s stool.

The stool is usually mixed with a special solution that allows the parasite eggs to float to the top. The sample is examined under the microscope for presence of parasite eggs. At Essentials PetCare, our comprehensive intestinal parasite test also checks for proteins specific to the worms in your pet’s stool, which can catch a parasitic infection even if there are no eggs present in the sample.

Experts recommend that pets be tested every six months for parasites. Bring your pet in to our clinic for an intestinal parasite test – it is included in most of our best value wellness packages or can be added-on to any package for just $20.