The clinical pathology laboratory at the Animal Health Trust is staffed by two boarded clinical pathologists and four technicians.

A clinical pathologist is always available for consultation, helping veterinarians in the interpretation of the results.

As well as our diagnostic tests and services we also offer a biopsy (histology) service which includes examination of both surgical biopsies and post mortem samples, delivered by our experienced and approachable team of anatomic pathologists.

What we offer

  • Haematology
  • Clinical Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Endocrinology
    • Serology
    • Coagulation screen
      • Canine von Willebrand (Factor VIII) antigen testing via Cornell University, NY
      • Factor testing via Cornell University, NY
  • Cytology

Other services available through the AHT include:

  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
    • Histology/Biopsy service
    • Immunohistochemistry
      • Ki67/MCM7 prognostication of MCT

Specialist equipment

  • High-quality laboratory with state-of-the-art analysers
  • Advia 120 Automated Haematology Analyser
  • Indiko random access analyser


We deliver a full cytology service for small animals.

This is provided by our on-site board-certified clinical pathologists.

Cytology is often used for its quick and easy collection method and fast turn-around time. Our cytology service also includes some specialist areas such as ocular cytology and bone marrow cytology.

The use of special stains is available, and may be performed at the pathologist’s discretion or via direct request.

Samples may be submitted as air-dried smears or fluid for processing. In order to provide the most useful interpretation of cavitary fluid samples, cell counts and total protein by the most appropriate method are routinely included in our cytology reports when sufficient sample volume is provided. Cavitary fluids therefore require submission of both an EDTA and plain tube to maximise sample analysis (CSF may be submitted as a plain tube only).

  • Clinical history and location are vitally important in interpreting cytologies, given the absence of surrounding architecture for orientation. In their absence many cases are un-diagnosable. Submission forms should be completed in any relevant parts and slides should be appropriately labelled (name/number patient, site of aspiration).
  • Exposure to formalin of any kind renders samples un-‘readable’ via traditional Romanowsky stains. This includes formalin fumes; therefore cytology samples should be sent in a separate, sealed bag from any biopsy specimens.
  • In cases where fluid samples may require prolonged storage prior to shipment or storage a drop or two of formalin may be added to aid with preservation – please note this on the submission form for the lab so an alternative stain may be used for assessment. Since cells deteriorate after long staining in a fluid, a few fresh direct smears of the effusion should also be made and sent together with the fluid sample.
  • In cases where bacterial culture of a fluid may be required, submission of an aliquot in a plain tube is essential. For very small fluid volumes, a swab from the fluid or site may alternatively be used for culture.
  • Bone marrow aspirates should always be sent together with a peripheral blood sample taken within 24 hours of the marrow (preferably at the same time). In the absence of peripheral blood evaluation, bone marrow interpretation is usually limited.