Clinical Pathology

Procedure for Making Blood Smears

Clinical Pathology Protocol Manual December 2019


FDP Testing - Discontinued

Effective Immediately, the PDS Clinical Pathology Laboratory will no longer be testing FDP (Fibrin Degradation Products).
The D-Dimer test is replacing the FDP testing; this quantitative immunoturbidometric assay is performed at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center (Ithaca, NY).
For D-Dimer testing, you will need to submit 0.5 mL separated citrate plasma in a plastic, non-additive tube, freezing sample immediately after plasma is separated. Refer to the PDS Fee Guide for the most recent prices and information for submissions and testing.
For further information please contact Shelley Eggum, Clinical Pathology Area Supervisor, phone: 306-966-2854 or email:


  1. A $32.00 “STAT” fee will apply to all STAT requests received anytime during the day.

a. For same day results, STAT samples must arrive in the Clinical Pathology Lab before the following times:

i. Cytology: Monday to Friday before 3:30 P.M.; Saturday before 1:00 P.M.

ii. CBC/Chem/UA: Monday to Friday before 5:00 P.M.; Saturday before 4:00 P.M.

iii. Progesterone and Cortisol: Monday to Friday before 4:30 P.M.; Saturday submissions will not be completed until the next business day.

2. Same day results are available for the majority of the Clinical Pathology tests that arrive at the lab by 2:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

a. For samples arriving after 2:00 P.M., finalized results may not be available until the next business day.

3. Samples received on Saturday may not receive Pathologist Interpretation until the next business day. Priority will be given to cytology samples received prior to 1:00 P.M.

4. Endocrine/Drug testing

a. Do not use SST tubes for sample collection if requesting endocrine (thyroid, cortisol) or drug (Phenobarb, Potassium Bromide) tests. SST tubes have not been validated for use in Veterinary practice.

b. See Adrenal Function Testing Protocols for additional information.

5. Coagulation Submissions

a. Include a normal animal sample (same species as patient) with each submission, for all species except Canine, Feline and Equine.

b. Centrifuge sample within 4 hours of collection and transfer plasma to a plastic tube or a plastic syringe. Freeze sample before shipping.

c. Do not transfer plasma to a glass tube or a red top tube. Red top tubes may contain a clot activator, which is NOT acceptable for plasma samples for coagulation testing.

6. CBC Submissions

a. EDTA tubes MUST be 2/3rds full as incorrect Whole Blood/EDTA ratio may cause incongruent results for RBC parameters.

b. Blood smears must be submitted with overnight sample(s).

c. Protect EDTA tube from freezing when shipping samples in cold weather.

d. EDTA and blood smears will not be tested if clots are present in the EDTA tube.

7. Combination Tests

a. All samples must be received at the same time in order for combination pricing to apply; this includes the urine sample (to follow urines

are no longer accepted). A new submission form must accompany every add-on sample/test request.

8. Cytology Submissions

a. Slides and tubes must be clearly labeled with patient ID, site ID and date of collection - refer to Sample Submission Protocols.

b. All sites must be submitted at the same time and must be from the same animal to get discount pricing.

c. Turnaround time for results is 24 hours.

d. STAT Cytology Submissions must arrive in the lab before 3:30 P.M. Monday through Friday and before 1:00 P.M. Saturday in order to receive same day results. Submissions received after 3:30 P.M. Monday to Friday or 1:00 P.M. Saturday will be finalized the next business day.

e. There is a $7.95 charge for each slide above the maximum 4 slides per site for Cytology Smears/Imprints and the 8 slides maximum for Multiple Lymph Nodes.

f. Cytology Fluids: see Cytology – Fluid 1 tube of fluid. Discounts apply when submitting multiple tubes of fluid – see Cytology – Fluids (per tube).

g. Cytology Smears: see Cytology – Smears or Imprints. Discounts apply to 2 or more sites – see Cytology – Smears or Imprints for the price of multiple sites (e.g. Cytology - Smears or Imprints Price for 2).

h. Cytology – Multiple Lymph Nodes (3 or more sites): select when submitting 3 or more lymph node sites. If submitting less than 3 lymph nodes sites, see the appropriate Cytology - Smears or Imprints (1 or 2 sites) for pricing.

i. Cytology - Joint Smear Combo: includes 1 tube for fluid and 4 smears from the same site as the fluid plus 1 to 4 additional joint sites with smears only. A maximum of 4 slides for each additional site. An additional charge of $7.95 will apply to each slide over the maximum of 4 slides per site.

i. Submit a red top tube if culture is required (additional charges will apply).

j. Cytology Resubmission Smears may be submitted following a non-diagnostic sample. Samples must be submitted within 2 weeks of the original submission and the original PDS case number must be quoted on the new submission form. An additional charge will apply - resubmission price is listed under Cytology Smears or Imprints sample comments.

9. Urinalysis - Complete vs. Urine Cytology

a. Urinalysis - Complete: includes the urine strip, specific gravity, sediment, and Clinical Pathologist interpretation. It does not include a Clinical Pathologist review of the urine sediment cytocentrifuge slide.

i. If the technologist sees what may be abnormal cells in the sediment a cytocentrifuge slide of the sediment will be prepared and a Technical Comment will appear on the report. Contact PDS to request a Clinical Pathologist review of the cytocentrifuge slide (Add-on Urine Cytology). An additional charge will apply - Add-on price is listed under Urinalysis - Complete sample comments.

Add-on Urine Cytology can by requested by emailing with the PDS report number and an add-on request (a submission form, or email indicating add-on test is required to add on the cytology).

b. Urine Cytology: includes a Urinalysis - Complete and Urine Cytology (Clinical Pathologist review of the urine sediment cytocentrifuge slide).

10. To add tests to a previous submission email with the PDS number and the add on request.