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The success of laboratory examination depends mainly on
the proper collection, preservation and despatch of
suitable materials. Whereas the field veterinarian can view
the entire carcass and note the condition of all the organs,
the laboratory technician will have to depend upon only the
materials supplied to him. It is, therefore, very necessary
for the field veterinarians to supply for the laboratory
examination all such materials that are likely to be of value
in the diagnosis. The covering letter should contain all
particulars of the specimens, preservatives used, history of
the case and the time of animal's death and that of
necropsy. The field veterinarian should also enclose a
copy of the post-mortem examination report and mention,
when possible, the disease suspected and the specific
tests required. For quick disposal of the material, it is
advisable to forward one copy of the covering letter by
post and to enclose another in the parcel containing the
specimen. All possible measures should be taken for
specimens to reach the laboratory in the shortest possible
time after their collection.

The materials required for diagnosis and the methods to
be adopted for their collection and preservation depend on
several factors such as the kind of examination required,
the disease under investigation, the apparatus available,
the atmospheric conditions and the length of interval
between collection and laboratory examination. However,
the general requirements are given in the following pages.

The glass-slides used for making smears should be
absolutely clean and free from grease. Standard firms
supply slides for ready use. If unclean, they should be
washed in water and. after they have been drained and
dried, immersed in a 5% solution of hydrochloric acid in
alcohol for a few
hours. The use of methylated spirit should be avoided for
preparing this solution as it turns milky on contact with
water. The slides should then be washed thoroughly in
running water and kept in absolute alcohol or rectified
spirit in a clean-stoppered bottle. When required for use,
they may be removed with a pair of forceps and the
alcohol burnt off by passing the slide through a flame.


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