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The first objective was to determine if the sample collection method (naturally voided vs digital rectal examination collection) affected fecal occult blood test (FOBT) results. The second objective was to assess the ability of human fecal hemoglobin immunochemical tests to detect canine and feline blood.


308 privately owned dogs, healthy and sick.


Guaiac FOBTs were performed on paired voided and rectally obtained canine fecal samples. The kappa statistic was used to assess agreement between the 2 collection methods, and a multivariate regression model was used to identify factors associated with a positive FOBT. Two fecal immunochemical tests (FITs; Hemosure One Step and OC-Light S) were tested with serially diluted human, canine, and feline blood.


Voided and rectally obtained samples showed strong FOB-positivity agreement (k = 0.80), with 92.5% concordance and only 13/308 dogs negative on void but positive on rectal. Multivariate analysis showed dogs with gastrointestinal disease (P = .0008, rectal; P = .0001, void) were more likely and heavier dogs (P = .0037, rectal; P = .0022 void) were less likely to test FOBT positive. Health status, fasting status, NSAID use, and age were associated with FOBT results on univariate, but not multivariate, analysis. FITs did not detect canine or feline blood at any concentration while human blood performed as expected.


Rectally obtained fecal samples can be reliably used for FOBTs. Human FITs may not be suitable for companion animals, but evaluation of other available tests is needed.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research