fine needle aspirate

Common Vocabulary Your Veterinarian Might Use

Have you ever been to the vet but were a little confused by a word or two they said? Have you ever wondered what those fancy words actually mean? Well, never fear, your friendly vet student is here to give you a list of commonly used medical words and definitions that you might just hear at your next vet appointment. 

-> CBC/Complete Blood Count: This is a type of bloodwork that looks at numbers for the different types of cells in your blood, such as White Blood Cells (WBC), Red Blood Cells (RBC), and platelets, to name a few. 

-> Blood Smear: Where blood is smeared on a microscope slide and analyzed for RBC morphology (anatomy/shape), organisms, what types of WBCs are present, etc. 

-> Anemia: Means a decreased number of RBCs and/or hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in weakness or paleness.

-> Neutrophil: Type of White Blood Cell, which is a cell of your immune system that can be elevated in inflammation, infection, etc.

-> Chemistry: This is a type of bloodwork that looks at the body systemically, such as kidney values, liver enzymes, glucose, cholesterol, electrolytes, etc. 

-> Urinalysis: This is where the urine is tested for things like pH, glucose, ketones, blood, etc. This can also be paired with a sample of said urine being analyzed on a slide for cells, crystals, or casts. 

-> Diagnostics: Tests (bloodwork, x-rays, etc) to figure out what the disease/problem is.

-> Baseline Diagnostics: Your baseline diagnostics (in most cases), would be a CBC, Chemistry, and Urinalysis.  

-> Radiographs: Commonly referred to as x-rays. Abdominal x-rays = abdominal radiographs.  

-> Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA): Where a needle is inserted into a mass/lump/bump and is then put on a microscope slide to see what sort of cells (if any) are present in said lump.

-> Alopecia: Loss of hair

-> Hepatic: Referring to the liver. 

-> Renal: Referring to the kidney.

-> Neoplasia: AKA abnormal growth of tissue, AKA cancer. 

-> Metastasis: Spread/growth of cancer. Metastasis to the lungs = growth of tumor from primary location to the lungs. 

-> NPO: Nothing Per Os (no food/water)

-> UTI: Urinary Tract Infection

-> URI: Upper Respiratory Infection

-> DOA: Dead On Arrival 

-> ADR: Ain’t Doing Right.

Mast cell tumours (grade III mastocytoma, confirmed by fine needle aspiration cytology) in a 6 years old male Jack Russell Terrier. Mastocytoma is a common skin tumour in dogs, and the lumps can have a variable appearance, some may even resemble a lipoma. Their size can quickly change from large to smaller; mast cells release biologically active compunds such as histamine that cause signs of systemic illnes. Agressive surgical excision is the treatment of choice, followed by chemotherapy( lomustine, or, in our case, vinblastin) or radiotherapy. Before and after the surgery, to minimize the risk of a systemic reaction due to histamine release, the patient has to receive antihistamines (hydroxyzine - Atarax and famotidine, a histamine H2 receptor antagonist). Grade III mastocytoma has a guarded prognosis and local recurrence is likely in most dogs. The cause of mastocytoma is unknown.

cpnchookum  asked:

Whippets! I kept one for 17 and a half years, surprising our vet, and I miss him dearly. Also, I came here since you're a friend of a friend I played DND with, and stayed because of the intriguing (and at times hilarious) fantasy creature anatomy treatises.

How are you going? Sorry it’s taken me so long toe get around to your breed, the queue has been… long.

Please note the disclaimer that these posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what an individual animal is going to encounter in their life.

Originally posted by rocketsnacks

These little dogs can be thought of as miniature greyhounds, though they are smaller, not as strongly selected for racing and don’t go through the same training and supplement regimes as greyhounds often do.

Overall they are reasonably healthy. It’s rare for me to see them for an orthopedic injury that isn’t the direct result of the dog jumping off something too high. They do get the usual collection of old age diseases, but this is largely because these dogs are actually achieving old age.

Like greyhounds, whippets often have relatively thin skin, making them prone to minor scrapes and cuts, and are sensitive to barbituate (but not all) anaesthetics.

Dental health is very hit or miss with this breed. They either do very well, or their mouth turns into a sewer and needs multiple tooth extractions.

Anxiety seems particularly common in this breed, and not just as the vet clinic. I don’t think this is any kind of flaw in so many dog’s upbringings, I think it is a genuine predisposition within the breed. Many are manageable without medication though.

Eye problems the breed is predisposed to, but not nearly as commonly as other breeds, are cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, both of which can result in blindness.

A quirk of this breed is that when they gain fat, they don’t always balloon out in the middle like many other dogs do. They tent to distribute their fat more evenly, so you can end up with a very fat whippet who does not actually look fat unless you are used to seeing this breed. If these dogs continue to gain weight you end up with something that looks like a whippet head on a stafford body.

Like many dog breeds, whippets will grow lipomas in their old age. These benign fatty tumors are usually limited to the body, rather than the limbs. In most breeds they’re rounded like an egg, but in whippets and other sighthounds they are often flatter and have a firmer texture. Fine needle aspirates can be performed to confirm in any case.

Bully whippets are the result of a homozygous myostatin mutation, effectively doubling the musculature of the dog. To my knowledge this mutation is unique to whippets, and affected dogs don’t seem to have any major issues from this mutation, other than occasional muscle cramping.

(Image source)

anonymous asked:

How often do vets actually remove lipomas? Like, have you done it a lot over your career? to me, a layperson, it looks fun to remove a big hunk of fat, but also, it's usually totally unnecessary to remove, right? I know dogs get them all the time, but do cats ever get them? qt: what's your favorite simple trick a dog can do? I love when they sit pretty :3

For tumors that I assume are lipomas based on a Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA), which is basically a tiny, tiny biopsy for cytology, whether we remove the tumor or not depends on a number of factors.

Lipomas are benign tumors of fat. They don’t spread or invade, but they can get stupidly, ludicrously big. The largest I’ve seen was almost 2kg, and that came off a terrier cross. So even if these tumors aren’t all that nasty, they have the potential to negatively impact the dog’s movement and quality of life.

I am more likely to recommend removing an assumed lipoma if:

  • It’s near a joint
  • It’s growing
  • It’s deep or under a muscle layer
  • If it’s changed in some way
  • if I think the FNA result is wrong
  • If it’s cutaneous or not mobile
  • If I have another reason to be paranoid about it (eg Boxer)

And if the owners elect to not remove the tumor, it’s still important that they continue to monitor it. So many laypeople online say that if a lump is a lipoma then not to worry about it, and they’re quire to answer anyone who has a dog with a lump by saying it’s a lipoma, even though it’s impossible to make that assumption without cells under a microscope. If anything about the lump changes, then cut it out.

One of the reasons this is so, is because Mast Cell Tumors (potentially very nasty, very common cancers) can look and feel all the world like a lipoma, and can begin growing underneath a lipoma years down the track. A lipoma is inconvenient, but a MCT will most likely kill its host without surgery.

When removing a lipoma, we shouldn’t be ‘scooping out’ the tumor, it’s still a tumor and should be removed with margins so that you can be reasonably confident you’ve got it all. One of the difficulties with margins in lipomas is that they’re often visually indistinguishable from normal fat, so you can’t always tell where tumor ends and fat begins. For massive lipomas, especially on small dogs, we often can’t take margins and end up debulking and hoping for the best.

Cats can get them, though they’re not as common. Any animal would be capable of getting them, but they are distinctly more common in dogs.

Traps for New Vets: Part 4, neoplasia

Approximately a third of our senior pets with develop cancer at some point in their life. Facts are, if they live long enough then it will definitely happen. Our job is to identify it, and do something about. For some types of cancer a chance to cut is a chance to cure, but only if identified early enough. 

Sometimes you don’t get a chance to identify neoplasia early enough. If a pet owner decides that their pet is ‘healthy’ and elects not to come to the vet for regular checkups until that lump is the size of a watermelon, or until that mast cell tumor has been sitting there for months, then there’s not much you can do about that. But we all do our best with what we’ve got. Different neoplasias have different biological behaviors, and some are sneakier than others. 

  • Mast Cell Tumors cannot be overestimated. They are always considered bad news until proven otherwise. They can pop up anywhere you have immune surveillance, including the spleen. they can also look like just about anything. Subcutaneous Mast Cell Tumors can look and feel exactly like a benign lipoma. The only way to know is a Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA).
  • Speaking of lipomas, don’t tell a client they are absolutely nothing to worry about. There is a tiny chance that it might be a liposarcoma or infiltrative lipoma. That’s really hard to pick on FNA alone, so monitoring is always advised. 
  • The further away from the trunk of the body, the more likely that lump is going to be a nasty little bugger. A 2mm tumor on the toe concerns me much more than a 5cm tumor on the body. 
  • Again, toe tumors are nasty until proven otherwise, especially so if there is lytic lesions in the bones. 
  • Melanomas are not always dark. You can get amelanotic melanomas with no pigment at all. 
  • Haemangiosarcomas/Hemangiosarcomas are most commonly found in spleen and liver, but they can show up anywhere you find blood vessels (almost everywhere). Watch out for intramuscular haemangiosarcomas. They present a bit like a haematoma or a seroma, but they are not. If you try to ‘drain’ these, they will bleed for weeks. They may not stop. Cut the whole thing out and hope for the best.
  • White cats develop squamous cell carcinomas of the face. They can also appear normal on the outside but have horrific oral tumors inside the mouth. Look, and don’t assume it’s just a flesh wound. 
  • If the tumor is annoying the pet or causing pain, cut it out even if it’s benign. This is especially true for eyelid lumps rubbing on the eyeball.
  • In male entire dogs, remember to check those testicles and the anus. Perianal adenocarcinomas are easy to miss.
  • Lymphoma is the most common cancer across all species and age groups. It breaks the rules. It can show up in any age, even juveniles, and anywhere. If it’s anywhere, assume it’s everywhere.
  • Osteosarcomas can present initially as mild lameness that is easy to confuse for arthritis. You only know with an xray. Also, while we learn that they are more common away from the elbow and towards the knee, this is only true in large dogs. Dogs of any size can get them, and in smaller dogs they are more common in the spine and skull. 
  • Multiple myeloma can also look like arthritis if a lesion is near a joint. 
  • Mammary gland tumors are malignant until proven otherwise. If they are present, spey that thing if she isn’t already. Doing so can potentially triple their life expectancy. 

Always look. More things are missed by not looking than not knowing.

Other traps for few vets:

Second most important thing for a veterinarian to remember about the species they are treating

I’m surprised and thrilled that my previous post, Single most important thing for a veterinarian to remember about the species they are treating, has achieved so many notes. I didn’t expect so many people to find this helpful or amusing, but you did.

But it’s been a while. You all work or study hard, so you must be ready for the next lesson.

Here it comes!

If you can find room in your busy brains to remember two factoids about the species you are treating, make room for these.

Dog: Mast Cell Tumors can look like anything. Do your Fine Needle Aspirates!

Cat: Cats are nature’s jigsaw puzzles. Put the pieces close enough together and they will heal.

Horse: Do not trust a pony to tell you it is in pain. They rarely show pain to the same degree as a horse.

Cattle: You cannot push around 500kg worth of opinionated beef. I don’t care how much you work out at the gym, you will not out muscle a cow. Don’t try, sedatives are wonderful things.

Sheep: One day you may have to euthanise somebody’s pet sheep, and a bullet won’t be appropriate. They have a reasonable cephalic vein where wool changes to fur. Actually, all animals have a cephalic vein.

Goats: Goats can be sensitive to sedatives and anaesthesia, but it’s hard to go wrong with valium.

Deer: Why haven’t you shot it yet? They are wild, you can’t medicate them regularly, can barely handle them and fawns raised as orphans will see you as a rival come mating season…

Birds: There are only minor differences between the beak of a large macaw and a flesh eating eagle. Mind fingers.

Raptors(eg Eagles): They are actually easy to poison, they will eat baited meat and poisoned prey.

Chickens: It is not as difficult as you think to give tablets to a chicken.

Water birds: They get fungal pneumonias very easily. Keep all your expired antifungals, you just might need it for a duck on a budget one day.

Rabbits: Don’t fast them very long before surgery. Half an hour to ensure they haven’t got any food in their mouths is adequate, you need them up and eating again fast.

Guinea Pigs: Don’t assume the owner knows what sex they are. Big honking testicles are not as much of a clue as you might think.

Rats & Mice: Caesarians never (to my knowledge) end well. If you have to, treat it like a spey and forget about the young.

Snakes: Remember how I said above every animal has a cephalic vein? There is one notable exception.

Lizards: Some species have a ventral midline vein. If you enter the body cavity like you would speying a mammal, they will bleed to death. Check your anatomy.

Aussie Mammals: A sick joey is probably coccidia.

Fish: If they need antibiotics, be prepared to use large animal drugs with tiny insulin needles and lots of fractions.

Ferrets: Being on heat endlessly will eventually kill a non-speyed female.

Pigs: They investigate with their mouths and will eat just about anything.