Article  Teaching Module 

Reptile Venipuncture Teaching Module

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Three “Blood Collection” videos, or text with still images, offer step-by-step guidance on popular venipuncture techniques in lizards, snakes, and chelonians. The objective of these resources, along with the General Principles of Reptile Venipuncture video or slideshow, is to improve the veterinary professional’s ability to obtain a clinically useful sample.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Turtles and Tortoises

Successful venipuncture can be a challenge in turtles and tortoises, however hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database in chelonians just as they do for all veterinary patients. Use this video, or text with still images, to review the equipment needed and sample handling recommendations as well as the potential complications and proper approach to the jugular vein, brachial vein, subcarapacial vessel, and dorsal coccygeal sinus in the chelonian.

Slideshow  Video 

General Principles of Reptile Venipuncture

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Although collection of blood samples can be a clinical challenge in reptiles, the method of patient handling, blood collection and sampling techniques are all critical for proper interpretation of laboratory results. This brief video or slideshow with still images reviews the basic principles of reptile venipuncture that should be considered before, during, and after the procedure.

Article 

Transfusion Medicine in Birds

Because of a lack of identified blood groups in companion bird species, compatibility for transfusion is based on the use of major and minor cross matches. A major cross match is performed by mixing donor red cells with recipient plasma and a minor cross match uses recipient cells and donor plasma. The appearance of agglutination or cell lysis indicates incompatibility.

Unlike mammals, a single transfusion between different bird species can be safe and efficacious. Transfusions will be most effective if the donor is…

Article 

Avian Hematology and Biochemistry Panels

Although hematology and biochemistry are an important part of the clinical picture in the avian patient, this bloodwork remains just ‘part of the picture’. All too often, when a clinician is unfamiliar with a species, the reaction is often to rely on laboratory results to hang a diagnosis upon. Although we have all been guilty of this, such an approach is inappropriate. For each sick bird, the following diagnostic tools should be applied: complete history, visual examination of the bird and its environment, physical examination, clinical pathology sample collection (blood, feces, swabs, aspirates, etc.), and radiography.

White blood cells are similar to mammalian lines, except that mammalian neutrophils are replaced with heterophils and mammalian platelets are replaced with thromobocytes. There are significant variations in normal differentials among avian species, in particular the total white cell count and…

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Pallor and Anemia in the Ferret

Although the medical approach to anemia is the same as in dogs & cats, some red cell parameters and some differentials differ in the ferret.

The ferret with moderate to severe anemia will exhibit pallor of the mucous membranes, nasal planum and skin. If a clotting disorder exists, petechial, ecchymotic and purpural hemorrhages can also be observed. The owner may complain of lethargy and reduced activity.

Article 

Laboratory Assessment of the Bleeding Exotic Animal Patient

Hemorrhage in the critical patient can occur from a number of reasons. Before a blood sample is collected, carefully weigh the risk to the exotic animal patient against the clinical value of the test results. What will you do with this information? How will it affect your clinical plan? EDTA is the most commonly used anticoagulant in small mammals; lithium heparin is commonly used in birds and reptiles. Whenever possible, make a blood film immediately after venipuncture using fresh blood free of anticoagulant. Most adult small mammal hematocrits range from…