How many times do I have to say it before my clients get it? Spare your pet the nightmare fecal rod and bring your own sample … please!

Do I really have to post a statement to that effect in the waiting room? Given the reluctance-slash-memory lapse on my clients’ part when it comes to snatching a fresh sample pre-visit, this 8.5 x 11 poopy poster had to get posted last year:

 
Much as I try to make the fecal rod a "friend" to my patients (treat-based distractions, a fast flick of the wrist, silly happy noises throughout, etc.), it’s the one part of the exam they seem to dread most. OK, I lie — it’s the nail trim — but the fecal sampling is a close second.
 
Humans may squirm and shudder at the needles and blood, but pets tend to stress most over the clippers and stool. Though I explain this ad nauseum and routinely beseech my clients to scoop some poop, I think they’re still too traumatized over the vaccines and blood draw to hear me … or maybe they disbelieve me, so wrapped up in their human syringe phobia as they are.
 
Could it be that stool is too yucky to touch? (Not that they need to touch it, mind you.) Or perhaps the time required to catch kitty in litterbox mode is too much to ask. Hmmmm …
 
In any case, that’s why this is going up. Fecal samples are crucial to a thorough physical exam, so … here’s hoping that a little humor helps convince my clients that loving your pet means sparing them the rod.
 

 Dr. Patty Khuly