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FBT Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in learning more about how the SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test works? Get answers to frequently asked questions from veterinarians below, or contact us for more information.

SUCCEED® Equine Fecal Blood Test Technology

The SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test is very accurate. In an October 2011 study of 178 horses, the FBT results were compared with visual observation of gastric and colonic tissue following necropsy. The positive predictive value of each strip was determined – Test A, detecting equine albumin as an indicator of colonic ulceration grade 1 or higher – was 95.4%, while Test H, detecting equine hemoglobin as an indicator of either gastric or colonic ulceration grade 2 or higher, was 96.9%.
The SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test is extremely sensitive to equine blood, detecting even microscopic amounts in a manure sample. Using Test A and H together can allow you to distinguish foregut from hindgut blood sources. However, the test cannot distinguish the source of the blood in any other way. Any source of equine blood at any location in the GI tract will trigger a positive test result. Combine SUCCEED FBT results with other diagnostics for a complete diagnosis.

The SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test includes proprietary antibody technology to detect trace amounts of blood, invisible to the human eye, in a horse’s feces as a sign of GI tract conditions. This technology utilizes antibodies to unique components of equine blood proteins to create the results.

Test A utilizes antibodies to equine albumin, which is susceptible to breaking down in the face of digestive enzymes delivered by the common bile duct in the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). A positive Test A indicating the presence of albumin in your horse’s manure suggests that bleeding is occurring in the hindgut, past where this enzymatic activity would have occurred (i.e., caudal to the common bile duct). The blood protein marker detected by Test H is equine hemoglobin, which is more resistant to these digestive enzymes, acids and bacteria throughout the GI tract. A positive Test H indicating the presence of hemoglobin in the horse’s manure could result from bleeding anywhere in the GI tract.

An animal’s immune system produces antibodies, specific blood cells, to fight foreign bodies that may enter the animal’s system. By design, each individual antibody relates to a specific foreign body, called the antigen — that particular foreign body that the particular antibody reacts to. In the SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test, antibody technology utilizes specific antibodies to particular equine blood markers (which act as the antigens to those antibodies) to produce the test results.
Protein components of blood that are utilized as antigens to provide a reaction on a test. In the SUCCEED FBT, the specific blood components utilized include albumin in test A, and hemoglobin in test H.
No. The human fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) use guaiac acid to detect occult blood in feces. Guaiac acid is not utilized in the SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test. The SUCCEED FBT is an antibody test. In fact, the SUCCEED FBT was evaluated against guaiac acid and the SUCCEED test was found to be more sensitive and more specific.
At a microscopic level, specific antibodies are combined with a red dye microsphere and soaked into the SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test substrate found inside the test cassette. When the antibodies react to the presence of the appropriate antigen (albumin in Test A and hemoglobin in Test H), they carry the red dye microspheres to the TST location on the substrate, appearing as a visible red line in the cassette window. For a complete view of the test mechanism, click here.
Water mixed with manure produces a slurry that provides an easier medium for utilizing the test. Particles of manure (and any occult blood that may be present) will be suspended in the resulting liquid slurry, making them more accessible for the antibodies on the substrate within the test cassette.

Administering the SUCCEED® Equine Fecal Blood Test

Once you apply the fecal solution to the test well on either part of the FBT test cassette (Test A or Test H), results should appear after five minutes. However, a control line may be evident in as little as two minutes. Do not read results after 15 minutes.
Any time that the horse may be likely to have blood introduced into the digestive tract, testing should be avoided. Blood in the horse’s manure from any source, even an external one, will trigger a positive test result. Avoid testing the horse within 24 hours of racing (particularly bleeders), having its teeth floated or during ovulation. Avoid testing the horse if there are any bleeding sores or abrasions around the horse’s mouth area that could allow blood to be swallowed by the horse.
The test will detect trace amounts of equine blood. A foal’s blood is no different from an adult horse’s. Therefore, the test is reliable in testing foals.
Yes. While collecting the fecal sample may be more of a challenge, the test will work with manure that is in any state or condition, even loose, watery or particularly dry.
The test is designed for use by anyone, and there are no regulatory issues requiring veterinarians to administer the test. However, the test is only available through veterinarians, so it is up to you and your vet to determine whom should actually administer it.
It is up to you and your veterinarian to determine how often you need to test your horses. You may want to test certain horses that you believe have digestive tract issues, or you may prefer to test all of them, to ensure the ones you think are healthy are not suffering from a GI tract condition. You may also elect to do follow-up tests following treatment of horses that test positive, to see if the treatment is effective. Discuss your options with your veterinarian.
No, tap water is perfectly acceptable for mixing with the fecal sample. However, that water should be fresh – do not use water that has been sitting around and which may be exposed to potential contaminants.
The SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test was designed for use right in the barn. However, some effort should be made to clear an area of debris, or to work on a clean, flat table top. This will help prevent exposure to other horses’ manure or other contaminants, and will simply make administering the test easier for you or your veterinarian.

Reading SUCCEED® FBT Results

No. The SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test is a diagnostic aid that detects fecal occult blood — trace amounts of blood in feces that may be invisible to the naked eye — as an indication of ulcers or other GI tract conditions. Veterinarians should combine the SUCCEED test kit results with other diagnostic methods to arrive at a complete diagnosis.
It means your horse has trace amounts of blood in its feces which may result from an ulcer in the digestive tract. It may also result from parasites. When parasites create a blood source in the digestive tract, they can often leave an open pit or lesion in the mucosal lining, which is a form of ulcer. A positive test can result from any bleeding lesion anywhere in the GI tract. Because horses, especially in performance, are prone to gastric and colonic ulcers, ulcers may be the most likely culprit of any positive test result. However, positive test results should be combined with other diagnostic methods to develop a complete diagnosis.
Refer to the instructions to understand the meaning of a negative test A and positive test H result. A positive Test H (bleeding from any location in the GI tract) combined with a negative Test A (bleeding is NOT in the hindgut) means your horse has trace amounts of blood in its feces from a source cranial to the duodenal-jejunal junction, or the foregut (stomach, duodenum, esophagus, etc.). This may be a result of a bleeding gastric ulcer, for example.
Refer to the instructions to understand the meaning of a negative test A and positive test H result. You may recommend additional diagnostics to ensure a complete diagnosis, before initiating a particular treatment.
Refer to the instructions to understand the meaning of a positive test A and H. Because the horse has a positive Test A, which indicates albumin in the feces from a source caudal to the proximal small intestine (i.e., the hindgut), and a positive Test H, which indicates hemoglobin in the manure from a source anywhere along the GI tract, the horse likely has an issue in the hindgut, such as colonic ulcers. But it may also have a condition in the foregut. You may want to also utilize gastric endoscopy to confirm if foregut bleeding is also occurring.
Refer to the instructions to understand the meaning of a positive test A and H. You may recommend additional diagnostics to ensure a complete diagnosis, before initiating a particular treatment.
The SUCCEED test antibodies are highly sensitive, detecting minute amounts of blood in manure. Any complete line – faint or strong – still should be read as a positive result. Only a broken line, or the absence of any line, indicates anegative result.
No. The blood protein components utilized as antigens in the SUCCEED Equine Fecal Blood Test are highly specific to equine blood.
Test the mare first. A positive FBT test result for the mare means trace amounts of blood have been detected in the mare’s feces. If this occurs, avoid testing the foal. If the foal ingests the feces (sometimes referred to as corprophagy) of a mare with a positive FBT result, the foal would then also likely register a positive FBT test result that may or may not be a false positive.

Generally speaking, you may detect a non-bleeding ulcer in the colon (resulting in a positive Test A result only), but are not likely to see a positive test result for a non-bleeding stomach ulcer with the SUCCEED FBT. Refer to the instructions for complete details.

In all cases, professionals should take care to use multiple diagnostic indicators, such as gastric endoscopy, CBCs and gross observation, in conjunction with the SUCCEED FBT for a complete and accurate diagnosis. For practitioners experiencing a positive Test A without a positive Test H, one of the differential diagnoses should include a protein-losing enteropathy, especially in the presence of hypoproteinemia/hypoalbuminemia on a CBC/chem profile.

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