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Companion Animal Practice
Collection and preparation of smears for cytological examination
  1. Elizabeth Villiers

    Elizabeth Villiers graduated from Bristol veterinary school in 1989. After five years in small animal practice she completed a threeyear residency in clinical pathology and oncology at Cambridge veterinary school. She is now a cytologist/clinical pathologist at Idexx Laboratories, Wetherby.

  2. John Dunn

    John Dunn is a lecturer in small animal medicine and clinical pathology at the University of Cambridge veterinary school. His main interests include all aspects of internal medicine, comparative haematology, clinical immunology and diagnostic cytology. He is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Companion Animals) and holds the RCVS diploma in small animal medicine.


CYTOLOGY is a very useful tool for the practising veterinary surgeon. Samples can be collected and examined quickly and easily, with no requirement for lengthy processing. Thus, results can be obtained in minutes and, in the light of the cytological findings, an appropriate treatment plan formulated. This article describes some simple sampling techniques for evaluation of superficial masses, lymph nodes and internal organs. The general principles of cytological interpretation, and the collection and handling of pleural and peritoneal effusions in the dog and cat, will be discussed in future issues.

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