Core investigative and laboratory techniques

image of Core investigative and laboratory techniques
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Whilst a complete history and thorough clinical examination are essential for dermatological cases, further diagnostic investigations are of paramount importance in reaching a definitive diagnosis. Many can be performed as part of, or at the conclusion of, the clinical examination. Any samples sent to the laboratory are subject to local and national postal regulations. The following are considered: Equipment; Coat brushings; Samples for direct microscopy; Culture of microorganisms; Skin biopsy; and Faecal examination.

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3.1 Hair pluck to show primary (P) and secondary (S) hairs. The blunt tips and frayed tips to several hairs indicate self-inflicted damage.
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3.2 Dermatophytosis. A hair shaft infected with spp., showing disruption of the structure due to invasion of fungal elements, with ectothrix spores surrounding the damaged hair.
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3.3 Telogen hair roots.
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3.4 Adhesive tape detection of parasites. , the hedgehog flea, found on a terrier. Close up of the head and anterior thorax showing two short pronotal combs (black arrows) and the slanted row of short genal combs (white arrow). , the stick-tight flea of rabbits, found on the pinna of a cat. , the biting or chewing louse. , the sucking louse. mites and eggs collected from the dorsum of a Boxer. High-power magnification of to show hooked mouthparts and globoid sense organ. (Courtesy of Kansas State University)
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3.5 Adhesive tape strip with detail of squames with many yeast organisms in a case of pedal dermatitis.
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3.6 mites and cellular debris in a liquid paraffin-mounted preparation of a follicular smear. (Courtesy of Kansas State University)
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3.7 Sampling site for skin scrapes from a dog with suspected sarcoptic mange. Hair has been clipped over the lateral elbow to show early lesions of crusted papular eruptions.
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3.8 mite, adult female. (Courtesy of Kansas State University) Group of mite eggs from an epidermal burrow.
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3.9 Pustule cytology, stained with Diff-Quik, showing neutrophils with intracellular cocci (arrowed) in a case of staphylococcal pyoderma. Cytology of an aural exudate showing bacteria, predominantly rods (arrowed), and inflammatory cells with chromatin streaks.
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3.10 Fine-needle aspirate from a mass, showing epithelial cells (large cells with central nucleus; arrowed) and cellular debris. The mass was later confirmed as a sebaceous adenoma.
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3.11 Dermatophyte test medium: colour change from yellow to red 5 days after inoculation, indicating growth of a dermatophyte.
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