Our lab is equipped with a high powered microscope, equipped with a 100x magnification, oil emersion lens. This is an essential piece of equipment which we all use several times a day to help with diagnosis of many different diseases including:-
Parasites – mites (including mange, ear and fur mites), lice, fleas and a variety of other parasitic insects can be detected and identified using microscopy of skin scrapings and fur brushings. The eggs of gastrointestinal parasites can be detected and identified in faecal preparations.
Ear infections – microscopy of ear wax helps us decide on the best treatment for ear disease as it helps differentiate between bacterial, fungal, parasitic or inflammatory ear conditions.
Timing for mating – Microscopy of a vaginal smear helps us decide what stage of the oestrus cycle a bitch is in which provides information on the best time to mate. For more accurate timing of mating we need to perform blood progesterone testing. Microscopy helps us make decisions on the best time to start monitoring blood progesterone.
Semen evaluation – When performing artificial insemination we use microscopy to assess the quality of the semen
Cytology of lumps and organs – microscopy of a few cells collected from a skin growth or abdominal organ, using a fine needle, often allows us to make a diagnosis on site without the need to send samples to a pathology lab.
Joint fluid – microscopy of synovial fluid collected directly from a joint allows us to determine if there is joint infection or immune mediated disease present.
Bronchoalveolar lavage – For diagnosis of lung diseases we often need to collect a few cells from the lung by instilling and then aspirating saline from the lung tissue. Using this technique we can differentiate between asthma, lung worm, bacterial, fungal, neoplastic (cancer), immune mediated and other diseases.
Cerebrospinal fluid – In cases of severe neurological disease such as meningitis we are able to collect a sample of fluid from the base of the skull for microscopic evaluation.