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#50343 - 07/05/05 06:29 AM Cytology Question
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
In Judie's post about Wellness Exam and Glider in a Crisis she states:

"vet should do a fecal smear, float and cytology along with a UA"

For the cytology where are the samples taken? Is this a urine cytology that is being suggested? As there are various samples that can be taken from different places maybe it should be clarified where the sample should come from. Am I correct that the UA checks for bacteria and the cytology examines any cells that may be floating around in the urine? What will the fecal float reveal? What will the fecal smear reveal? Also explain what is meant by doing a culture.

I think it would be beneficial to glider owners to have each of these procedures explained in layman terms. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thanx.gif" alt="" />
Charlie H
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#50344 - 07/05/05 01:00 PM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
Goodness gracious. Must be a day for nit picking. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

Since you are so kind...let's see if I can explain a little further.

Direct Fecal: Good for checking for ova, parasites and giardia. Also very good for detecting probable bacteria or yeast problems.

Fecal Float: For parasites and ova only.

Fecal Combo: For ova, parasites and giardia.

Acid Fast Stain: Acid fast stain for detection of mycobacteria and Cryptosporidia.

Fluid Analysis: Includes description, specific gravity, pH reading, protein content, glucose, ketones, blood content and cytology findings.

UA: Includes standard urine readings and sediment check with preparation geared especially for exotic samples.

Cytology: Means Study of....
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#50345 - 07/05/05 02:07 PM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Thank you Charlie for asking and Big Thank you Judie for answering!!!! I know those are all standard tests but now I know what they are meant for!
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#50346 - 07/05/05 03:50 PM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Thanks Judie. I pretty well knew the answers but felt that a lot of the newer glider owners probably don't. Might be worth mentioning also that on a routine physical of a female the vet should check the pouch for inflammation or infection. Just a visual if nothing else.
Charlie H


Edited by Charlie H (07/05/05 03:53 PM)
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#50347 - 07/06/05 02:04 AM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Much of what is below is well-known to the experts here like CharlieH and Judie, but for those who have not heard the terms...

Cytology - literally the study of cells. This usually involves looking at cells under a microscope. Typically this is used when looking for abnormal cells from the patient, such as Pap smears from the human cervix or bronchial washings looking for lung cancer cells. When looking at a sample (usually a sample is a body fluid) for bacteria and parasites under a microscope, the term microscopic exam or microscopy is more often used.

A Direct fecal exam or fecal smear is squishing a thin layer of poop on a slide and looking at the stool under a microscope, usually looking for parasites and their eggs (ova). One may be looking at bacteria, although that is of limited value since the poop is absolutely teaming with bacteria, they are everywhere.

A fecal float is done by mixing the poop in a specialized solution, and examining the floating top layer for parasites. This concentrates the parasites if present and makes them show up better.

UA is short for urine analysis, which checks concentration, acidity, protein, sugar, blood, pus, nitrates, and more.

A urine culture tries to grow bacteria from urine on culture media. In humans, the urine should be sterile and have no bacteria. In an animal such a glider which has a cloaca, the urine outflow tract and the stool tract share the cloaca, and urine will not be sterile since it is mixed with bacteria-laden stool. The urine culture can therefore be a little tricky to interpret. Many germs growing in low colony count on the culture plate are likely normal stool things. A single germ growing in high numbers is more suspicious for a urinary tract infection.

If possible (it can be done because we've done it more than once) catching a midstream urine sample is best. We collect just as they wake up. If we are present, our guys like to get right out of the cage and on our shoulders. Once perched, that is their favorite place to squirt. My daughter is the queen of noticing their tail elevate just as they begin to urinate. The middle third of the urine is the best, as some of the poop germs are washed away, and we're getting the best urine specimen.

When a glider is dehydrated, losing weight or has diarrhea, the fecal tests are very helpful. If the glider acts like it hurts to pee or you suspect a urinary tract infection (UTI), the urine culture is very valuable to guide treatment. If the glider has seized, is febrile, is coughing/sneezing and acting like a respiratory tract issue is going on, or shows other signs of sepsis, then my money would be on a blood culture if you can get it. Shotgunning these tests without targeting the work-up is a waste of money in my opinion.

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#50348 - 07/06/05 04:49 AM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Thanks schlep.

"Shotgunning these tests without targeting the work-up is a waste of money in my opinion."

This is the type of information that glider owners need. So many times the trip to the vet is a waste of time and money. Seems most of the time the tests done at the vets show up negative. And when a glider is in a crisis it takes too long for a culture to be grown. So as a result a lot of the treatments that gliders get are assumptions based on the vets experience and the symptoms the glider is exhibiting. Not actually identifying the specific problem.

Don't let this discourage you from taking your glider to an experienced vet. When you have a sick glider there is no substitute for an experienced professional. And the sooner you get help the better. But at least this information will help you in understanding the procedures.
Charlie H
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http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#50349 - 07/06/05 11:54 PM Re: Cytology Question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


CharlieH,
I agree completely that an experienced eye on them is best. Some owners don't have that available, but it is unsurpassed. And I am still a believer in cultures where appropriate for difficult to clear infections.

I so often see advice to do stool analysis when that appears to have no hope of identifying the problem or helping. Luckily a poop check isn't dangerous, invasive or too expensive. Neither is it usually helpful. I'd save it for gastro-intestinal symptoms, or failure to thrive.

Interesting post you started. Thanks.

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