Practice Tips

Splenic haemangiosarcoma in the dog

  • If haemangiosarcoma is suspected, forward the whole spleen- most of the mass is likely to be haemorrhage arising within the tumour, and neoplastic tissue can be sparse.
  • Make sure to “bread board” the spleen, and place in sufficient formalin for adequate fixation (formalin:tissue = 10:1).
  • CityU VDL will cut in multiple sections from different areas of tumour in the spleen in an attempt to get diagnostic areas, which are often on the border of the areas of haemorrhage and more solid tissue.

Tips for cytology:

  • Make multiple aspirates: aim for 3 aspirates/lesion as a minimum if possible, often the diagnosis is only present in 1 slide.
  • If no cell deposits are seen on slide in the clinic, it is unlikely the pathologist will be able to make a diagnosis.
  • Make sure to change in clinic Diff Quik stain regularly (once/week if used often).
  • Make sure not to get oil on the 40x lens. If this does occur, wipe it off immediately as if left on for greater than 2 days it can be difficult to get off.
  • Clean lens with alcohol and Kimwipes.
  • Make sure to look at whole slide under low power for areas of interest.
  • Essentially looking for inflammation compared with neoplasia.

Tips on blood smears

  • A correctly made blood smear is essential to interpret a CBC, especially in unwell or older animals.
  • Aim to create a feathered edge with areas composed of a monolayer near the end of the smear to allow good cell visualisation.
  • Use slides with frosted ends so it is easy to identify the patient by writing on the frosting with pencil.
  • Diff Quik stain is adequate for peripheral blood staining.