ACS Distance Education UK
When an animal is suspected og being ill; samples need to be taken and examined in a laboratory to determine any problems; and if a problem exists, identify what it is. This may be carried out by a veterinary professional; or in some cases, someone else who works in the care of the animals.
Samples that may be taken from the live animal include: blood, faeces, skin, genital tract and semen, eye swab, nasal discharge, saliva, tears, milk.
Procedure for making a blood smear
1. Thoroughly clean 2 or 3 microscope slides. Use Methylated Spirits if necessary and be sure no dust or greasy marks remain on the glass.
2. Clean the ear of the animal with a damp cloth then nick the edge with scissors or a sharp blade. The nick must be deep enough for blood to flow; not just to drip and quickly clot. It is impossible to make smears with half clotted blood.
3. Pick up a drop of blood about the size if a millet seed (no larger), near one end of the slide. Hold a second slide at an angle (30-50 degrees) to the first and push it lightly along its length to draw the blood behind it in a smooth film.
Don't allow the smear to dry in the sun. Keep it in the shade. When it is thoroughly dry (but not before), wrap it in clean paper upon which the following particulars should be written:
Avoid the following Mistakes:
Taking Smears of Pus and Discharges
The procedure is very similar to collecting a blood smear. A tiny amount of the required material is gathered onto the end of one slide, and spread thinly over it by pulling another slide, and spread thinly over it by pulling another slide along the first slide. Like blood smears, pus and discharge can be taken when the animal is alive or dead.
Semen and Genital Tract
Saliva, tears, nasal discharge
Explore the distinguishing characteristics of different diseases, and understand how they affect animals.