In the field of veterinary medicine, different laboratory tools are used to help diagnose different ailments. One of the most frequently uses is the microscope which allows us to take a closer look at things that are not visible or distinct to the unaided eye.
One of the most common tests we run at Full Circle Vets is a urinalysis. A component of this test involves looking at the urine sediment, after it’s been spun down in the centrifuge. Looking at the urine under the microscope gives us the ability to visualize cells, crystals, casts, or other urinary components which have been concentrated during the spinning process. Different types of cells in the sample can indicate infection, inflammation, or other disease processes. The following sample demonstrates both red blood cells, and white blood cells, squamous epithelial (skin) cells, and a cast, at 400 x magnification.
Other incidental findings, during a routine urinalysis, can include sperm in the urine of male intact dogs (400x). Occasional white blood cells are seen on this image, also.
Microscopic examination can also reveal parasitic infections in the skin, ears, or hair follicles. The followingillustrates a Demodex (‘mange’) mite, found on microscopic exam after skin scraping (100 x). These mites normally live in the hair follicles of healthy animals, but overgrowth can cause symptoms of hair loss, crusts, or redness. Puppies are most often seen with demodex mites. These live mites cannot be seen with the naked eye, but show up on fairly low magnification settings.
Thanks to Patti Green, RVT for compiling this blog.
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