Diagnostic challenge

In our diagnostic challenges, we present cases seen by Cornell University’s Clinical Pathology Laboratory. These cover the gamut of venous blood smears, cytologic specimens and result (CBC, chemistry) interpretation, including those pesky erroneous results (usually due to preanalytical errors). A new case will be presented 4-6 times a year. Test yourself with the questions and …

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Case #1 2024

Clinical pathologic results from a puppy   Case Information A 15-week-old female Maltese puppy weighing 1.5 kg was presented to the primary care veterinarian with a one day history of lethargy and vomiting. The puppy was purchased from a breeder 6 weeks prior and had received vaccinations for Bordetella vaccine and distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus …

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2023 Case #5

Venous blood smear from a horse Case Information A 2-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was presented to the primary veterinarian for a 1-month history of progressive lethargy and decreased performance. The horse had no prior health issues. The primary veterinarian performed bloodwork, which revealed pancytopenia and the horse was subsequently referred to the Equine and Food …

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2023 Case #4

Peritoneal fluid from a dog Case Information An 11 year-old, female spayed, mixed breed dog was presented to Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) for a suspected septic peritonitis. The patient had been seen for repeated visits by the referring veterinarian (RDVM), over a 4 day period, for persistent and progressive lethargy, discomfort, and anorexia. …

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2023 Case #2

Cerebrospinal fluid from a dog Case Information A 1-year-old intact male Keeshond was presented to the Emergency Service in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) with persistent fever and neck or spinal pain of three weeks duration.  The dog had shown reluctance to walk up or down stairs or jump on or off furniture. …

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2023 Case #1

Skin mass in a young dog Case Information A 1-year-old male Great Dane was presented for continued monitoring of a previously diagnosed rare immune-mediated skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita, which is characterized by the formation of subepidermal blisters.1 The patient was doing well and remission of the immune-mediated disease was maintained with cyclosporine and …

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2022 Case #6

Pleural fluid from a cat Case Information A 13-year-old neutered male Domestic Shorthair was presented to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for a 2-day history of increased respiratory rate and effort, inappetence, and constipation. The cat was housed indoors and had no known history of trauma. He was diagnosed at a young age with …

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2022 Case #5

Venous blood smear from a dog Case Information An 11-year-old female spayed Doberman Pinscher was presented to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals with a 24-hour history of reduced appetite. The dog had also urinated in the bed the previous evening. Six weeks prior, the dog had been admitted to the clinic as an emergency …

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2022 Case #4

Tracheal wash from a horse Case Information A 14 year old Paint mare was referred to the Cornell Equine Nemo Farm Animal Hospital with a one week history of decreased appetite and a 2-day history of pipestream diarrhea and fever, leading to a preliminary diagnosis of colitis. The day of referral, the referring veterinarian had …

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2022 Case #3

Venous blood from a cat Case Information A 1 year old neutered male domestic shorthair cat was presented to a veterinarian for the primary complaints of chronic upper respiratory symptoms, lethargy, and decreased appetite. The cat was documented to be negative for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) via a rapid test …

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