Posted by: Pieter | 2007/04/04

Cytology test

One of our horses developed a lump on his back and we had the vet out to determine what is wrong. The vet informed us that he is fine. Could someone please refer me to a site where I can get more information on the cytology test that was done. How do they do it, what tests do they do on the sample taken. I can't get hold of the vet who did it but am curious about this.

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Our expert says:
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Your own vet may have done the cytology in his prsactice. By taking a fine needle sample vets can make a smear and examine it under the microscope and differentiate between an abscess, allergic reaction and cancer for instance. Sometimes these samples are sent away to laboratories who do the microscopic exams and report back to the vet. There are a number of labs in the country who can do this. Your vet will be able to tell you which tests were done and by whom.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2007/04/04

A cytology test is generally simply an examination of cells under a microscope. Often various chemicals are used to 'stain' the cells, since certain abnormalities show up with certain stains.

I would imagine that the purpose of the one your horse had was simply to determine whether the lump was malignant (ie cancerous) or not - and it seems, fortunately, that it wasn't.

A cytology test is something like a blood test - there are dozens, if not hundreds, of specific things that could be tested for, so without knowing what tests were carried out exactly it's not really possible to be more specific. The only way is to find out from the vet who ordered the tests specifically what he was looking for - if the vet himself isn't available, his practice should have records of what tests were carried out.

Glad the horse is ok!

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