The faecal test can diagnose infections with intestinal worms and also lungworm. Intestinal worms include roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm and can be diagnosed on a single faecal sample. The potentially fatal parasite lungworm can be diagnosed but this involves a different technique and fresh faecal samples collected for three consecutive days as this parasite has a large daily variation in larval excretion.
For more information on these parasites this PDF document is useful.
How often you perform a faecal worm count may depend on the risk of your individual pet. Those considered high risk include animals who regularly hunt, eat slugs/snails/grass/faeces or live in an area of known high prevalence. It is recommended to check higher risk animal’s faeces every two months but for others every two to four months should be suitable
Many clinics recommend worming against all potential parasites every month. This could be considered excessive as we can use tests such as the faecal worm test to determine if we should worm and what we should use, but also importantly this means we are giving our pets these treatments when they may not require them, and will likely increase the chances of parasites becoming resistant to the treatments
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