Whether you are filling out a paper form or submitting to us online (online is our preference),
PLEASE always include 3 things:
1. Patient’s full signalment
(species, breed, sex, age)
2. Pertinent medical history
(please do not send the entire medical record)
3. Full description of the lesion
(anatomic location, size, depth, gross description, ultrasound appearance, etc).
Specimens can be obtained using aspiration and non-aspiration/woodpecker techniques depending on your preference. Once the specimen has been obtained, there are 2 vital steps that should be followed quickly to produce an optimal cytologic specimen:
Using an air-filled syringe, force the specimen on a glass slide(s) and quickly create a monolayer. Cells of interest that are not in a monolayer cannot be easily assessed or interpreted.
Facilitate rapid drying of the created cytologic specimen by blowing, waving, or adding very mild heat (hair dryer, not a flame). Cells of interest that dry slowly are often disrupted and destroyed.
We prefer to stain the slides with our automated stainer. However, we do not want to discourage our veterinary clients from looking at their own cytologies. If five slides are obtained from a lesion, consider staining 1-2 with your in-house staining method, and sending the additional 3-4 slides unstained.