Evaluation of two commercial test kits for detection of occult blood in feces of dogs

Stephen D. Gilson From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Brent B. Parker From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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David C. Twedt From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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SUMMARY

To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of 2 commercial test kits for detection of occult blood in canine feces, various volumes of blood were administered to 6 dogs via orogastric tube. Blood volumes tested were chosen on the basis of hemoglobin quantities of 5, 10, 20, 200, 350, and 500 mg of hemoglobin/kg of body weight. Fecal specimens were collected twice daily and analyzed separately by 2 observers for the presence of occult blood by use of modified guaiac and orthotolodine tablet tests, and for melena by visual inspection. Five dogs given blood at the rate of 500 mg of hemoglobin/kg and 1 dog given blood at the rate of 350 mg of hemoglobin/kg developed melena. Results of both occult blood tests were positive in 2 of 6 dogs given blood at the rate of 5 mg of hemoglobin/kg. Five of 6, and 4 of 6 dogs given blood at the rate of 10 mg hemoglobin/kg had positive test results by modified guaiac and orthotolodine methods, respectively. Results of both methods were positive in all dogs given blood at the rate of 20 mg of hemoglobin/kg. There was 86% agreement between the 2 observers’ results for the modified guaiac method, and 78% agreement for the orthotolodine method. There was 77% agreement of results between the 2 test methods. Gastrointestinal transit time decreased with increasing volumes of blood. Occult blood testing was found to be useful for detection of blood in feces at volumes 20 to 50 times less than that required to cause melena.

SUMMARY

To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of 2 commercial test kits for detection of occult blood in canine feces, various volumes of blood were administered to 6 dogs via orogastric tube. Blood volumes tested were chosen on the basis of hemoglobin quantities of 5, 10, 20, 200, 350, and 500 mg of hemoglobin/kg of body weight. Fecal specimens were collected twice daily and analyzed separately by 2 observers for the presence of occult blood by use of modified guaiac and orthotolodine tablet tests, and for melena by visual inspection. Five dogs given blood at the rate of 500 mg of hemoglobin/kg and 1 dog given blood at the rate of 350 mg of hemoglobin/kg developed melena. Results of both occult blood tests were positive in 2 of 6 dogs given blood at the rate of 5 mg of hemoglobin/kg. Five of 6, and 4 of 6 dogs given blood at the rate of 10 mg hemoglobin/kg had positive test results by modified guaiac and orthotolodine methods, respectively. Results of both methods were positive in all dogs given blood at the rate of 20 mg of hemoglobin/kg. There was 86% agreement between the 2 observers’ results for the modified guaiac method, and 78% agreement for the orthotolodine method. There was 77% agreement of results between the 2 test methods. Gastrointestinal transit time decreased with increasing volumes of blood. Occult blood testing was found to be useful for detection of blood in feces at volumes 20 to 50 times less than that required to cause melena.

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