The lab area is in the adjacent to surgery, both exam rooms and the pharmacy. We do the typical routine lab work that most small animal practices do including elisa serology, bacterial culture, fungal culture, routine hematology, urinalysis and basic serology and blood gas analysis.
I have a special interst in microscopy that dates back to my experience in a human hospital during my days in veterinary school. We have two microscopes. One is our "working" microscope which is used for routine fecal exams, hearworm checks, etc.. In 1999 we purchased a new Nikon scope which I reserve for my personal use. I have had a special interes in hematology and cytology and have developed some expertise in that area. The optics on the new scope are a lot better than I'm used to and I've enjoyed the improvement in our exams that it provides. This scope is also set up to do "phase constrast" microscopy which can be really useful in some special circumstances. We also have been experimenting using our digital camera to transmit images to experts for "second opinions".
Phase contrast of Bacteria in urine
Another Phase contrast view of white blood cells and large rod shaped bacteria in urine.
We wish we could afford one of the big new hematology machines that are now on the market but we are happy to have purchase an I-Stat hand held chemistry analyser in 1997. We use the device frequently and we get the sort of results that you "gotta have" RIGHT NOW . . . right now. For our big chemistry profiles we use a local human lab and Antech, a nationwide veterinary reference lab. But for the patient that's going downhill fast the I-Stat tells you what you need to know in about 90 seconds with about 1/10 of a ml. of blood. It's tough to beat.
The VetTest is a able to do chemistries that the I-Stat can't do (and visa versa). For now we will continue to use both and send out some lab work as well.