In the department of veterinary pathology diagnostic investigations are carried out to determine the cause of illness or death in farm animals, companion animals and horses. In case of farm animals these investigations usually involve post mortem examination, with emphasis on infectious diseases. In companion animals investigations mostly relate to examination of cells and tissues using thin needle aspiration biopsies and surgical biopsies, including tumors and skin biopsies. Pathological examination of farm animals serves animal owners, veterinarians, the food animal sectors and the government. Based on the diagnosis, animal owners and their veterinarians can take targeted therapeutic or preventive measures. The animals sectors and the government obtain information to advance animal disease monitoring and surveillance. Cyto- and histopathology of companion animals and horses is carried out to support clinical follow-up by veterinarians. Results from post mortem examination provide a basis for further evaluation of clinical and therapeutic treatment.
Examinations are carried out by eight registered veterinary pathologists, supported by a team of laboratory technicians, necropsy and administrative staff. The facilities include a well-equipped necropsy room for mammalian species and poultry, a histological laboratory and a microscopy room. Additional laboratory testing is carried out in GD Animal Health's bacteriological, virological, parasitological, molecular-biological and chemical-toxicological laboratory.
In the histological laboratory tissue sections are trimmed and stained for histological examination. In addition to Haemaluin-Eosine routine staining, which turns the cell nuclei blue and the cytoplasm red, there are many other special staining techniques to diagnose certain cell and tissue properties. We also use immunohistochemical techniques on cell and tissue sections to detect tumour markers or microbial organisms.
The pathology department is part of the GD Animal Health laboratory, which is ISO 17025 accredited by the Dutch Accreditation Board (RvA) for a large number of laboratory tests (registration number L120).