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Will My Pet's Poop Sample Stay Fresh?Updated 8 months ago

Yes, and no refrigeration is needed. Need details? Read on:

What matters is the integrity (quality) of what is being tested for within the sample. Each test and “targets” of the test are different, so some sample transit times need to be faster (e.g., urine) than others (e.g., stool). Stool O&P (fecal ova and parasite) testing included in MySimplePetLab Routine Dog or Cat Stool Tests screens for intestinal worms and Giardia.

What’s important for the worm test is not the quality of the stool, but rather the structural quality of the worm eggs (roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm) and spores (coccidia) for accurate microscopic identification. Worm eggs and coccidia spores are designed to successfully survive decomposing stool in harsh, outdoor conditions. This lifecycle approach has evolved over millennia so they can infect other animals’ days, weeks, or even months later (depending on the parasite type). A few days in the mail isn’t harsh enough to destroy these parasite forms. 

Giardia by ELISA looks for proteins (antigen) of Giardia cysts. Cysts are also designed for harsh outdoor conditions and for this testing, the cyst doesn’t even need to be identifiable since the test screens for bits of leftover proteins in the stool. MySimplePetLab also has the option after purchasing and activating your test to upgrade to Microbes by PCR, which only needs tiny amounts of DNA (RNA) particles left behind for microbe identification.

Thus, stool samples can ship USPS First Class (which keeps cost lower) and why sample refrigeration (ice pack) is not necessary.

There is one practical thing to help increase “parasite yield” (finding and identifying any parasites if present) and that is starting with a fresh stool sample (just or very recently passed by the dog or the cat).

If the outdoor temperature is very cold or very hot, consider dropping off the return test box with sample at a local post office (rather than leaving it in your mailbox).

Additional Questions? Chat us at, email [email protected], or call us at 833-PET-TEST (833-738-8378). 

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