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Newsletter 11/2017
We are pleased to welcome you to the monthly BattLab newsletter. This newsletter will bring you the latest news and information about our laboratory and all tests that we can offer to all our clients.
 
 
 
BATTLAB AT THE LONDON VET SHOW
 
BattLab will be present at the London Vet Show on the 16th and 17th of November. Come and visit us at our stand (FA48), we have a small present for you. Looking forward to meeting you there.
 
 
FAQ ON HISTOPATHOLOGY
 
WHAT DOES HISTOPATHOLOGY TELL US?
Histopathology is the study of tissues affected by disease and is very useful in making a diagnosis and in determining the severity and progress of a condition.
 
WHY DO I NEED HISTOPATHOLOGY IF A CYTOLOGY DIAGNOSIS IS ALREADY AVAILABLE?
Cytology is an important diagnostic tool that can provide fast and accurate results when applied to solid lesions. However, in a large percentage of cases cytopathology cannot substitute for histopathological examination, and the latter is often needed for a definitive diagnosis and to further characterise the lesion. For example, a diagnosis of canine cutaneous mast cell tumour is usually straightforward on cytology. As the next step, histopathology will provide details regarding histological grade and surgical margins, which all have an important prognostic value and will help to decide over the best treatment option.
 
WHAT ARE THE SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS?
The samples should be immersed in fixative solution as soon as possible. If the fixative solution is not readily available, the sample should be refrigerated (0-4⁰C), but not frozen. Although there are many types of fixative, most specimens are fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin. The optimum formalin-to-specimen volume ratio should be at least 10:1. Formalin containers should be capped and leak-proof, and labelled correctly. Wherever possible, the whole sample should be submitted in formalin. If the tissue is large, then it may be more appropriate to submit representative sections. For instance, when sampling splenic masses, which are often very large, it is possible to send a number of representative portions from the periphery of the mass, avoiding areas of haemorrhage or necrosis. Ideally, samples should not be thicker than 10mm. And please remember to fill out the submission form with clinical details; this may contain information relevant for the pathologist to make the correct diagnosis.
 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE RESULTS?
Here, at Battlab, we provide a rapid, high-quality veterinary diagnostic histopathology service. Turnaround time for histopathology is 3 to 4 working days. Keep in mind that some specimens may need additional processing, such as decalcification of the bone biopsies, which may delay the process. The team we work with consists of experienced American and European Board certified as well as MRCPath qualified pathologists, which are always available to discuss cases.
 
BLOOD REFERENCE RANGES FOR RABBITS from routine diagnostic samples
 
Our colleagues from LABOKLIN presented at the last annual ECVIM (European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) annual congress in Malta a poster about blood reference ranges for rabbits from routine diagnostic samples. These new haematology and biochemistry reference ranges will be implemented in Battlab as well from now on.

BattLab offers a complete diagnostic service for small mammals and rabbits, from full haematology, to biochemistry, endocrinology, pathology (cytology/histology) and testing for infectious diseases (serology and PCR).

Below the abstract of the poster.
 
 
ABSTRACT The establishment of reliable reference ranges is a central prerequisite for the diagnostic evaluation of blood results. Such reference ranges should be established based on an adequate animal population and using identical techniques. The purpose of this retrospective study was to establish laboratory reference ranges for pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) from routine diagnostic samples, sent to Laboklin between January 2015 and January 2017. Clinical chemistry parameters were determined using the Cobas® c701 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany).

Haematological parameters were determined using the Sysmex XT-2000i (Sysmex Deutschland GmbH, Germany). The statistical evaluation was performed using the Reference Limit Estimator 20151017. This tool calculates reference ranges from patients with unknown health status using an algorithm that excludes presumably non-healthy individuals by decreasing the statistical error based on a high number of data sets. Rabbit chemistry and hematology parameters were calculated from data sets of 937 to 2039 values resulting in lower, consistent, or, in some cases, higher reference ranges compared to reference ranges derived from the literature. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to calculate reference ranges based on data from routine diagnostic samples, enabling laboratories to establish their own reference ranges given an adequate amount of data. The program is accredited by the German Society of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine for human medicine. To our knowledge, this was the first time that Reference Limit Estimator 20151017 was used to calculate reference ranges for blood parameters in rabbits. 
 
 
 
60 SECONDS WITH PAULA BAILEY
Veterinary Surgeon and Company Director at Emscote Vets in Warwick
 
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?
Mary Martin and I have been working in the local area for many years but it was only four years ago that we found our premises and opened. It has been a very exciting time for us, and although it has been busy we are delighted with the growth, our great team and a friendly, committed client base.
 
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO BECOMING A VETERINARIAN?
I always joke that I became a vet because of subliminal infiltration by my mother! She wanted one of her children to be one and encouraged me at every step of the way, from offering my help at a local farm, keeping pets and supporting me at lessons and shows with my pony. My first choice of career would have been to be a successful actress, but I am ever the realist-however these skills are still useful on a daily basis! Having said that I love people and animals and feel very lucky to be in a job which is more of a vocation.
 
WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BATTLAB? HOW DOES WORKING WITH BATTLAB ASSIST YOU IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
We have never looked at using another lab because the level of expertise with personal and friendly service provided by Batt lab will not be matched. Whenever I have a difficult case or an unusual blood result my first thought is to pick up the phone and discuss it. Sometimes this can give me new ideas or confirm a suspicion. I have also found that they are willing to investigate and look for papers that might help with a diagnosis. They seem to positively enjoy helping! Same day reliable cytology results has been a great addition with Noel then Francesco being specialists in this field. Of course an added bonus for us is the closeness- if we have an urgent sample after collection, a quick phone call and a trip over ensures us super-fast results. 
 
Yours sincerely,
The BattLab team
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