News and updates 

Freemartins. Freemartinism occurs when a heifer born with a male twin is exposed to masculinising hormones during gestation.

Marek’s mortalities. The highly contagious Marek’s disease virus is a common cause of mortality in backyard chickens – and the clinical signs are diverse and overlap with several other common conditions in poultry flocks. So what’s the best way to diagnose it?

Is that really a urinary tract infection? Urine is often submitted for microbiological evaluation when investigating lower urinary tract disease in cats and dogs. In these cases, culture should always be accompanied by a complete urinalysis including a urinary sediment examination, and ideally should only be performed on
a cystocentesis sample.

Blood smear and cytology preparations
SVS Laboratories has recently purchased the Siemens Hematek 3000 semiautomated slide staining system to improve efficiency and staining quality.

Semiautomated stainers stain the middle portion of the upper side of a glass slide, and a blood film or cytology smear prepared outside this area is not stained (see below). The unstained area starts about 13mm from the edge of the glass slide, therefore, we recommend blood films and cytology preparations are made within the staining area.

Thrombocytopenia in dogs and cats. Thrombocytopenia, the term used for a
platelet count that is below the reference interval, is a common finding in a complete blood count. This finding has numerous causes, but with careful examination it is possible to determine the culprit. (VetScript August/September 2021)

The case of the scaly Golden Retriever.  A young Golden Retriever presents with pain on the neck and spine and mysterious, severe scaling. (Article from VetScript June/July 2021)

Device V Testing. Serum amyloid A is useful for detecting and monitoring acute inflammation in horses. However, the arrival of handheld devices in New Zealand means veterinarians need to take care when interpreting results. (Article from VetScript Feb/March 2021)

The case of the lumpy lamoid. Pathologists help determine the case of lumps covering the body of a young alpaca. (Article from VetScript April/May 2021)

Diagnosing dermatophytosis in dogs and cats.  Dermatophytosis is a disease caused by a superficial fungal infection in keratinised skin.

Diff Quik Stains Diff Quik (DQ) stains are commonly used in practice to examine blood smears and cytology samples. It is a three-step system using methanol as a fixative followed by an orange/eosinophilic solution then a blue/basophilic solution. Learn more about Diff Quick stains.

How to Package Samples for Delivery to the SVS Laboratories. Samples need to be packaged using the 3-layer IATA packaging system. This consists of a primary receptacle, secondary receptacle and an outer shipping container. Read more here.




Go to Test Services and CPD & Resource Centre for more articles and info

Hot weather can affect your samples!

In hot weather, sample storage can produce artificial changes in CBC and biochemistry results. Centrifugation and separation of serum samples will decrease these changes and making a blood smear to accompany an EDTA sample preserves cell morphology. Store the spun serum and EDTA samples in the fridge, but leave the smear at room temperature.

Bulk Milk Sampling

The national survey of the bulk milk samples as part of response to M. bovis is underway. This is placing a great strain on the systems and resources and does take an understandable priority. We are still getting the samples for our BVD Testing Programme but we are seeing a delay of up to 2 weeks in the timing of these.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this and are doing all we can to turn the testing around as quickly as possible once we have the samples.

Thank you very much for your support and understanding in this matter.

Click here for SVS Laboratories BVD Bulk Milk Monitoring Programme Form



BVD Beef Herd Programme

About 80% of beef herds have been exposed to BVD

Very few farms have conducted any monitoring

Most beef farms are in the dark on their status

BVD is having major effects on beef farming profitability through:

  • Increased empty rates
  • Increased time from calving to pregnancy
  • Sickness and poor growth in young stock

Use the SVS Labs BVD Beef Programme at the time of pregnancy scanning.

Click here for Information leaflet