We recommend that your pet be tested on an annual basis for intestinal parasites. Methods for parasite screening have evolved in recent years with the addition of antigen testing, which has the advantage of detecting the presence of worms or parasites such as Giardia, even if they are not in the egg shedding stage. We employ this method for most fecals, sending out the sample to a lab, with results coming to us 1 -3 days later. In-house testing is done by mixing a small amount of feces with a sugar solution and spinning the sample in a centrifuge to separate out the eggs of the parasite, which then float to the surface of the liquid and can be identified under a microscope. We employ this method if needing a faster result for a sick animal or in cases of boarding animals where we need to ensure that parasites are not being spread in the exercise yards. The presence of certain parasites may influence your choice of heartworm preventatives as the different products have varying spectrums of protection against intestinal parasites as well, and some parasite eggs can remain persistent in the soil of your yard year-round. Even indoor pets can become infected with intestinal parasites, as some can be transmitted through ingestion of fleas, crickets, mice or even potting soil.