Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
by Dr Emma Hall, The Wild Vet Animal Hospital, Glebe, NSW
We see a lot of smaller exotic pets at our clinic and use the VetScan VS2 Chemistry Analyser for our in-house biochemistry with many of those patients.
What’s good about it
The big advantage of the VetScan VS2 Chemistry Analyser is that it only needs tiny blood samples to run an analysis—0.1ml of whole blood or plasma compared to a minimum of 0.5ml with other units. We’re able to take blood from very small patients like budgies and canaries, and obtain their biochemistry values.
There are different rotors for different types of animals. We commonly use a comprehensive rotor for the mammals—most commonly rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets. The results give us a good general overview of their health including liver and kidney values, albumin/globulin, and electrolytes.
It’s very useful when we want answers quickly as the results only take 15 minutes to process. Often, we can have a clear diagnosis within 20 minutes or half an hour. Previously, the only alternative we had for our exotics patients was to send off samples to an external lab. Those results take between one and three days.
What’s not so good
The only downside is that if there is lipemia or haemolysis in the sample, the machine may return an error and not measure all the analytes. In small patients, this can mean the entire sample has been wasted. Plasma can be run instead, but often we don’t have enough sample left to centrifuge and repeat the analysis, and our patients are often too small to safely collect more blood.