Melbourne Rabbit Clinic celebrates an evening of getting to know your pet’s blood better

Recently Melbourne Rabbit Clinic has been updating our medical protocols in regards to haematology – the study of our patients’ blood.  With the help of Dr Brad Galgut from ASAP veterinary pathology labs, and the donation of blood from some of our own (less than thrilled) bunnies and piggies, we have been able to photograph a number of normal red and white blood cells to use as references for looking at blood samples under the microscope.  Knowing our normal references allows us to better pick when things are going wrong, and so we held a party to practice getting good at making and reading blood smears.

 

smears

Not all bloods are smeared equally…we vets are glad we have such talented nurses who make such lovely smears! (mine is fourth from the left)

 

What can we learn from blood?
Blood cells can tell us a lot about the general health of bunnies and piggies.  Assessing the appearance of red blood cells under the microscope can tell us more about how (and if) our patient is coping with chronic disease or bleeding issues.  White blood cells, the immune cells of the body, can increase and decrease in different states of infection and disease.  Assessing blood cells can also be useful in diagnosing particular cancers, including some common in guinea pigs.

 

Dr Zoe and Dr Narelle run through the sorts of blood cells you would see on a rabbit or guinea pig blood smear

 

Our Wine and Bloods Night was held on 25 May and featured a showcase of our new protocols and references which will see us undertaking a lot more routine blood smears, hopefully increasing our ability to pick abnormalities in our patients.  It also featured some very nice wine and an exciting range of excellent snacks including blood cell shaped biscuits on a giant microscope slide, baked by our wonderful Dr Narelle.

 

We put on a nice smear spread

 

But Wine and Bloods Night isn’t all about yummy food and drinks, it’s also about us working together as a team to improve the way we look after your furry friends.  At Melbourne Rabbit Clinic we aim to work together with our whole team to ensure your bunnies and guinea pigs get the best care, so all our vets, nurses and receptionists left the evening able to read blood tubes and smears, and knowing how to communicate through the clinic when more support is needed for a patient.