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Sampling and sample preparation



​FNA of tissues and tumors

  • You preferably use a 21- to 25-gauche needle and a syringe of 5 to 10 ml volume

  • Smear the aspirated material on glass slides with an opaque labeling field and allow it to air dry

FNA of fluids

  • Please perform 12-3 smears immediately after fluid aspiration, as immediately smeared cells are much better preserved than cells kept for several ours in the fluid

  • If possible, perform one direct smear and 1-2 smears from the fluid sediment obtained obtained after centrifugation (1500 U/min, 5 min)

  • Please transfer the remaining fluid to an EDTA tube and submit it together with the prepared smears to Vetscope Pathologie

  • If you suspect a bacterial infection, please also submit parts of the fluid in a sterile uncoated tube

​General information

  • Please make sure that all glass slides and tubes are labelled with the names of the animal and the owner, and the anatomic location of the aspirate

  • Please avoid cover slips, because they cannot be removed after the smears have dried, and the smears cannot be stained anymore

  • You may also submit stained smears

  • Glass slides, shipping cases and envelopes can be ordered here



  • The major prerequisite for a histopathological analysis is the fast and complete fixative immersion of the tissue. Please put the biopsies and tissues as fast as possible into buffered 10% formalin (= 4% formaldehyde solution)

  • The ideal formalin:tissue ratio is 10:1. Please consider this with your container selection

  • Formalin infiltrates the tissue about 1 mm per hour (rule of thumb). In non-fixed areas autolysis progresses. Thus, please incise larger samples like spleens and large masses to achieve a better fixation (if possible not at the level of the excision margins)

  • Use vessels and containers with large openings, as formalin makes the tissue very firm​


  • Samples of different anatomic locations may harbour various lesions. Please mark the different locations, e.g. with surgical knots, or submit them in different vessels

  • If you suspect a malignant tumor and are eager to confirm a complete excision, label the different margins according to their topographical positions and indicate the meaning of the labels on the analysis request form (e.g. «short knot = cranial» or «blue = medial», etc.)    

General information​

  • For poorly fixed tissues and for bone and tooth material the analysis duration is prolonged, as these samples need to remain in formalin to complete fixation or need to be demineralized, respectively

  • Please make sure that all sample containers are labeled with the names of the animal and the owner, and with the anatomic location

  • Containers with formalin and shipping envelopes up to 5 cm width can be ordered here


General informationen

  • Vetscope Pathologie investigates animal carcasses up to 10 kg body weigth (no ruminants, pigs or wildlife)

  • Keep the carcasses refrigerated, but please avoid freezing (if possible)

  • If you suspect poisoning, submit also vomitted and gnawed materials

  • Vetscope Pathologie considers the crematory of your choice. Please clarify a possible wish for cremation with the animal owner before submission and include a completed crematory request

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