Fecal flotation is a routine veterinary test used to diagnose internal parasites or “worms.” The test detects the eggs of mature parasites that live inside the body and pass their eggs to the outside by shedding them into the host’s stool. Some of these parasites are worm-like, while others are tiny single-celled organisms called protozoa.
This test is performed by mixing fecal material with a special liquid that causes the parasite eggs to float to the surface. The eggs are collected from the surface using a glass slide. The slide is examined under a microscope, and the appearance of the eggs identifies what type of adult parasite is present.
Kittens and puppies are frequently infected with intestinal parasites and are susceptible to re-infection. Fecal flotation may also be recommended if a pet develops diarrhea or fails to gain weight as expected. A yearly fecal flotation is done as part of the annual check-up to monitor the healthy adult pet.