Tools of the trade: Vetscan VS2

portable blood machineby Dr Gladys Tam, Mt Druitt Veterinary Clinic, NSW

The VetScan VS2 is a portable blood machine that analyses biochemistry, electrolytes, blood gas and immunoassay.

What’s good about it

It’s very quick and easy to use. A small amount of blood is collected from a patient and inserted into the rotor. It runs for 12 minutes and shows the results straight away. The recommended amount of blood is 0.5mls but I’ve got away with just 0.2mls. This can be useful when trying to draw blood from a fractious or stressed animal.

By using different types of rotors, you can test a variety of animals. It’s particularly helpful when surgery is scheduled for an older animal. Often animals don’t present any clinical signs so we test the biochemistry and organ function to ensure it is safe for surgery to proceed.

In the past we had to send our samples to a lab—and the wait for results could be very stressful for anxious clients. Now, I just tell them to take a seat outside for 15 minutes and we’ll have their results. It’s also much cheaper for the client when we test in-house rather than send samples to the lab.

The whole unit is very small and fits on a bench pretty much anywhere.

What’s not so good

The recommendation is not to use a smaller gauge needle when collecting samples to avoid compromising the samples. This can cause limitations with some patients. Compromised samples are recommended to spin down and this requires the clinic to have a centrifuge.

Where did you get it

REM Systems 

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