Evaluation of a routine diagnostic fecal panel for dogs with diarrhea

Nicholas J. Cave, Stanley L Marks, Philip H Kass, Ann C. Melli, Melissa A. Brophy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


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 Iow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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