Joint taps (Arthrocentesis)
Dogs have a non-responsive fever, stiffness on rising, difficulty walking, or swollen joints often require a joint tap to determine the cause of their disease. This procedure is done under light sedation that also provides pain control, and it is performed using sterile technique to avoid any possibility of infection. The area around the carpus (wrist) and tarsus (ankle) is clipped and cleaned with surgical scrub, and a small needle is inserted into the joint space for collection of a couple drops of joint fluid. This is submitted immediately to our clinical pathology lab for assessment.
Bone marrow aspiration/biopsy
Dogs or cats with anemia, decreased or abnormal white blood cells, or decreased platelets sometimes require collection of a sample from the bone marrow to determine the most likely disease process causing the abnormality detected in the blood. Animals are lightly sedated for the process with medications that control pain, and a local anesthetic is administered at the site of bone marrow collection. Various spots can be used to obtain bone marrow, including the front and back legs, and the hip region. A specialized needle is used to enter the marrow cavity and a sample is quickly acquired. Cells are analyzed immediately by our clinical pathology laboratory and animals typically recover from the procedure quickly without complications.