A culture and sensitivity helps identify an infectious organism and an effective treatment protocol. The culture determines which bacteria is causing the infection and the antibiotic sensitivity test determines which antibiotics will eliminate the bacteria from the infection site.
Cultures of milk samples are frequently used to identify the bacterial source of a mastitis infection. Culture samples of feces, nasal discharge and wound infections are commonly collected with swabs. When necessary, samples are collected via necropsy.
Cytology is defined as the study of cells, their origin, structure, function and pathology. Skin scrapings, aspirations, impressions, and biopsies are different techniques used to obtain cytologic samples which aid in the diagnosis of certain disease.
After cytologic samples are collected, slides of the sample are stained and then microscopically examined. A sample aspirated from a growth or tumor may reveal cells that show characteristics of malignancy. Different types of cells, both normal and abnormal, are noted and your veterinarian uses these findings to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan for your animal.