Interpretation of histopathology from surgical biopsy specimens is the core of our work.
Every sample is treated with the same level of care, whether it is "just" a long-standing skin mass or a liver biopsy from a patient in ICU. Behind each sample is someone's furry companion, an owner waiting for an answer, and a veterinarian waiting for guidance.
Our goal is to provide a piece of the roadmap for clinical management. In many cases a specific diagnosis can be made, leading you to a specific prognosis and therapeutic protocol. However, there will always be cases with more ambiguity, and we will do our best to still provide as much guidance as we can. Sometimes that involves recommending additional stains/tests, consulting our colleagues, and/or suggesting referral to another specialist (dermatology, internal medicine, oncology, surgery, dentistry, etc.).
For fee details, refer to your user guide or contact us.
SAMPLES WE ACCEPT: anything that can fit in the jars we provide you (almost any type of biopsy, tissues collected at the time of postmortem). *tissues must be formalin-fixed.
SAMPLES WE DO NOT ACCEPT: fresh tissues, very large samples such as amputated limbs (refer to your user guide on how to prepare large samples for submission).
Canine: fibroadnexal hamartoma (also known as fibroadnexal dysplasia).
Canine: nasal aspergillosis.
"There is nothing more useful in general practice than a needle and a glass slide".
There are many limitations to cytology, but fine needle aspiration is one of the most efficient ways to obtain information. Most commonly, it is used to investigate enlarged lymph nodes and various lumps and bumps, both internal and external.
If you are unsure how to sample a lesion (FNA, biopsy, impression smear, etc.) please do not hesitate to call us ahead of sampling to discuss your case. We can discuss the sampling methods that are most likely to yield a diagnosis. We can also walk you through how to take photos of your slides through the microscope eyepiece with your smartphone, and take a quick peek at those photos to let you know whether the slides are even worth sending in. Check out our real time consultation section for more details.
SAMPLES WE ACCEPT:
Air-dried, unstained cytology smears made from:
- Fine needle aspirates or impression smears of “lumps and bumps” or solid organs
Refer to your user guide for details on preparing cytology samples for submission.
It is never easy to face the loss of a pet, let alone when the cause of death is unclear.
In-clinic/mobile postmortem services are available and can usually be performed within 24-48 hours of your request. Areas of coverage include Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge, Guelph/Fergus/Arthur/Orangeville. If your area is not listed here, please call to inquire.
If you suspect rabies or any other reportable disease, or if the case may become a legal case, please contact the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph. In-clinic/mobile postmortem services typically will not include assessment of the brain/spinal cord.
How to Prepare:
1. Discuss with your client the limitations of cosmetic and in-clinic postmortems.
2. DO NOT FREEZE the body/tissues. Keep refrigerated. If already frozen, please contact VETPATH Canada to discuss.
3. Call VETPATH Canada to set up a visit to your clinic/location.
4. If additional testing is required, unless another lab is requested by you, histopathology will be performed through VETPATH Canada, and other tests (microbiology, virology, toxicology, etc.) will be submitted to the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario, Canada).
Real Time Consultation
Unsure what to sample or how to sample? Dealing with a challenging case and just need to bounce around some ideas? Found something unusual in the middle of surgery?
Consultation is available at no cost to regular clients of VETPATH Canada. We will try our best to help you at the moment you need it! Contact us to set up a consultation. Facetime is available upon request.
No one likes receiving a pathology report that says "NON-DIAGNOSTIC SAMPLE". Unsure whether your cytology slides are "good enough" to submit for evaluation?
Call us and we will walk you through how to take photos of the slides through your microscope eyepiece with your smartphone.
Or, if you feel comfortable doing it yourself:
1. Take at least one or two photos at each magnification, of the most cellular regions of the slide(s) and/or the cells of interest to you.
2. Please make sure the photos are in focus!
3. Email the photos and background information about the patient/clinical context from your clinic email address to email@example.com. You may find it easier to just fill out our submission form.
DISCLAIMER: Any advice given about the nature of the sample is limited to the areas you choose to photograph, and by the clinical information provided. Would you want to provide an official diagnosis over the phone for one of your clients? No - you would want to see the patient in person! The same goes for us: an official diagnosis requires the slides to be submitted for an official cytopathology report.