Tips for submitting veterinary pathology cases

December 23, 2020
dvm360 Staff

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Dr. Adam Christman is joined by veterinary pathologist, Veronica King, DVM, who explains the ins and outs of submitting cases to your local pathologist.

Detailed case submissions are hard to come by, according to veterinary pathologist Veronica King, DVM. In her talk with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, King offers insight on properly filling out case and necropsy submissions.

“Once I got into academia, I realized that not many [veterinary professionals] know what pathologists do,” says King. Unlike clinicians, many pathologists never physically see the tissue, because it’s processed and put on a slide in another department first, she explains. That’s why detailed descriptions are crucial, stresses King, adding that they provide a clearer look at what’s really going on.

“The description is super important,” says King. “In medicine, you’re looking for patterns. Whether it be how the animal is presenting clinical signs, or what the bloodwork is showing, you’re looking for patterns in everything you do.”

When it comes to multiple case submissions, things can get a bit confusing, says King. For example, when clinicians submit their cases or necropsies, they may provide an unclear history such as, “This is the 4th death in the herd.” The problem: clinicians tend to focus on presenting past history, she says. Instead, King suggests answering the following questions when writing multiple- case submissions:

  • Do these animals show any signs of illness?
  • How are these factors related to one another, if at all?
  • Are they enclosed in the same area?
  • Are they getting the same food?

Also, be sure to give the pathologist a time period of illness, she adds.

King also tells Christman that writing up lesion submissions can be tricky because it’s difficult to describe a lesion, especially for cytology and biopsy submissions. She recommends including the location and distribution of the lesion in the description.

Listen below for more nuggets on submitting case reports to your local veterinary pathologist.