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  • Author or Editor: Paul M. Gibbons x
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Objective—To compare sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination and 3 chromogen tests for detection of occult blood in cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) excrement.

Animals—20 adult cockatiels.

Procedures—Pooled blood from birds was divided into whole blood and lysate aliquots. Excrement was mixed with each aliquot in vitro to yield 6 hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations (range, 0.375 to 12.0 mg of Hb/g of excrement). For the in vivo portion of the study, birds were serially gavaged with each aliquot separately at 5 doses of Hb (range, 2.5 to 40 mg/kg). Three chromogen tests and cytologic examination were used to test excrement samples for occult blood. Sensitivity, specificity, and observer agreement were calculated.

Results—In vitro specificity ranged from 85%to 100% for the 3 chromogen tests and was 100% for cytologic examination. Sensitivity was 0% to 35% for cytologic examination and 100% for the 3 chromogen tests on samples containing ≥ 1.5 mg of Hb/g of excrement. In vivo specificity was 100%, 90%, 65%, and 45% for cytologic examination and the 3 chromogen tests, respectively. Sensitivity was 0% to 5% for cytologic examination and ≥ 75% for all 3 chromogen tests after birds received doses of Hb ≥ 20 mg/kg. Observer agreement was lowest for cytologic examination.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Chromogen tests were more useful than cytologic examination for detection of occult blood in cockatiel excrement. The best combination of sensitivity, specificity, and observer agreement was obtained by use of a chromogen test.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research