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  • Author or Editor: Melissa A. Brophy x
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Objectives—To assess the diagnostic yield of a routine fecal panel and determine whether Clostridium perfringens or C difficile toxin production is associated with acute hemorrhagic diarrheal syndrome (AHDS) in dogs.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—260 dogs with diarrhea and 177 dogs with normal feces.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for results of culture for C difficile, Campylobacter spp, and Salmonella spp; C perfringens fecal enterotoxin (CPE) assay via ELISA or reverse passive latex agglutination (RPLA) assay; fecal endospore enumeration; C difficile toxin A assay; and parasite evaluation.

Results—Prevalence of CPE in dogs with diarrhea was 22/154 (14.3%) via ELISA and 47/104 (45.2%) via RPLA assay, versus 9/74 (12%) via ELISA and 26/103 (25%) via RPLA assay in control dogs. Prevalence of C difficile was 47/260 (18%) in dogs with diarrhea and 41/74 (55%) in control dogs. Prevalence of C difficile toxin A was 26/254 (10.2%) in dogs with diarrhea and 0/74 in control dogs. Diagnosis of AHDS was made in 27 dogs; 8 had positive results for CPE, 7 had positive results for toxin A, and 1 had positive results for both toxins. Campylobacter spp were isolated from 13 of 260 (5%) dogs with diarrhea and 21 of 74 (28.4%) control dogs. Salmonella spp were isolated from 3 (1.2%) dogs with diarrhea.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diagnostic value of a fecal panel in dogs with diarrhea appears to be low. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:52–59)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association