Intestinal parasites are both a real and client-perceived problem in companion animals.
Most clients are well aware that puppies and kittens have worms and expect their veterinarian to use proper diagnostic techniques and treatment protocols. Because many companion animal parasites are zoonotic, veterinarians and clinical staff must be up to date on the best diagnostic techniques.
To ensure the health and well-being of pets and reduce the chance of transmission of potentially zoonotic parasites, fecal examinations for parasite eggs, oocysts, and cysts are important. Many different procedures and techniques are used, each with its own advantages and limitations. This article reviews the most commonly used fecal examination techniques. Reliability of results depends on following protocols, using an adequate sample size, and ensuring qualifications and training of the technician or veterinarian conducting the fecal examination.