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Veterinary Diagnostics Devices: Opinions?

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Could I get opinions on personal experience with vet. diagnostics machines and their manufacturers?

  • Heska

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Abaxis

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other: Specify

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3
  • Poll closed .

greg.house1408

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Could I get personal opinions and advice on which manufacturers and their machines work best for a veterinary diagnostics lab? I have worked with IDEXX machinery for 3 years now, but am looking for any options, given that their ProCyte analyzer is not all that accurate.

Specifically, I am looking for a company that I can purchase their complete lab setup (including software), are available (and helpful) in the event of a mechanical failure or error, and has a wide-range of tests to choose from.

Thank you in advance.
 

CalliopeDVM

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Could I get personal opinions and advice on which manufacturers and their machines work best for a veterinary diagnostics lab? I have worked with IDEXX machinery for 3 years now, but am looking for any options, given that their ProCyte analyzer is not all that accurate.

Specifically, I am looking for a company that I can purchase their complete lab setup (including software), are available (and helpful) in the event of a mechanical failure or error, and has a wide-range of tests to choose from.

Thank you in advance.

In my experience of working in over 6 dozen different small animal clinics, Idexx systems are the most common -- but that's for an in-clinic setup, which means it must be very user friendly, reasonably priced, and pretty stable. That is not the same equipment that is used in a veterinary diagnostic lab......Those use equipment on a much larger (production) scale. It will have much better accuracy, but the equipment costs very much more, covers many more diagnostic tests, takes up more room, requires more training to operate and verify (and maintain) properly, and consumes more resources.

Are you actually asking about a complete diagnostic lab set up, or a more common in-house lab setup for common testing (CBC, biochemistry profiles, urinalyses, fecal testing)?
 

twelvetigers

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Big labs tend to use big machines made by Abbott, Siemens, Hitachi, things like that. I'm guessing that they meant in-house. I've only used Heska and IDEXX. It's like printers - you have to look at the cost of maintenance too, like what refills of stain or reagents costs.
 

greg.house1408

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CalliopeDVM: Yes, I am referring to an in-house setup, rather than an industrial scale testing center.

twelvetigers: I have been trying to compare costs as well, but several representative later I still do not have a clear picture of annual costs

dyachei: Do you think the Lasercyte is more accurate than the Procyte? I like Abaxis, but I was told by my veterinary mentor that he doesn't like their "rotors." Like him, I like to pick and choose tests based on my client's purposes and do not believe that would be entirely possible with their rotor model.
 

CalliopeDVM

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If you can find a skilled lab tech, doing a manual verification of the CBC (blood smear) is a great way to go too. And don't forget to look at Heska; I've seen their units in a few places.
 

dyachei

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CalliopeDVM: Yes, I am referring to an in-house setup, rather than an industrial scale testing center.

twelvetigers: I have been trying to compare costs as well, but several representative later I still do not have a clear picture of annual costs

dyachei: Do you think the Lasercyte is more accurate than the Procyte? I like Abaxis, but I was told by my veterinary mentor that he doesn't like their "rotors." Like him, I like to pick and choose tests based on my client's purposes and do not believe that would be entirely possible with their rotor model.
I think it's more accurate. I also don't like rotors though you can get different rotors for different tests. For any sick pets, I always have a tech do a smear/diff.

Heska is another good company.

One of the things that drove me away from Abaxis (I think it was them) was their relationship with Antech. Although Idexx isn't much better, I didn't want to be signed in for 5 years to get a good deal on a blood machine.
 

twelvetigers

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We have two local labs (that are not affiliated with Antech or IDEXX) that come to pick up samples when we call. We can also go drop them off if we are in a huge hurry because they are both pretty close by. We have a machine to run in-house panels of six main chem levels that we do pre-anesthesia. Otherwise, we use the labs.

I know this isn't an option for everyone, but it works well for us and has allowed us to catch things like mycoplasma earlier than we probably would have ourselves.
 

Coquette22

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We use Idexx and have a Lasercyte, Catalyst, Snapshot and UA analyzer (dipstick). I regularly check smears against the Lasercyte (not a specialist here, just a GP with an interest in clin path) and it typically matches up pretty well. We also use the VetConnect services from Idexx and I've been very happy with their phone consults for IM cases.

Can you not run individual tests at all with the Abaxis? We regularly run single slides or tweak bloodwork panels to fit a budget.
 

Minnerbelle

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We use Idexx and have a Lasercyte, Catalyst, Snapshot and UA analyzer (dipstick). I regularly check smears against the Lasercyte (not a specialist here, just a GP with an interest in clin path) and it typically matches up pretty well. We also use the VetConnect services from Idexx and I've been very happy with their phone consults for IM cases.

Can you not run individual tests at all with the Abaxis? We regularly run single slides or tweak bloodwork panels to fit a budget.
I really like the idexx set up for that purpose.

I dunno if it's the particular abaxis unit we have, or if it's that the cartridges we buy are set profiles or if individual values are actually available to run... But in our clinic all I can run are either preanesthetic profiles or a chem15.

Unless the pet's so sick I need an answer right there and then (possibly not stable overnight or may end up at ER overnight before next day), I do send outs for everything because we get better results that way anyhow. I can do a superchem with thyroid and PSL for the same price as our in house (and much cheaper to add on urine). So it hasn't bothered me enough to look into it. It's not like I have hospitalized patients so it doesn't really matter to me all that much.
 

Coquette22

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I really like the idexx set up for that purpose.

I dunno if it's the particular abaxis unit we have, or if it's that the cartridges we buy are set profiles or if individual values are actually available to run... But in our clinic all I can run are either preanesthetic profiles or a chem15.

Unless the pet's so sick I need an answer right there and then (possibly not stable overnight or may end up at ER overnight before next day), I do send outs for everything because we get better results that way anyhow. I can do a superchem with thyroid and PSL for the same price as our in house (and much cheaper to add on urine). So it hasn't bothered me enough to look into it. It's not like I have hospitalized patients so it doesn't really matter to me all that much.
Ah, we rarely do send-outs. For most of our patients, they're sick and need answers now and we don't have an emergency center (nearest 24hr clinic is 5 hours away).
 

greg.house1408

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My goal would be to have a more immediate answer for those potential emergency cases and for those clients who don't want to wait for their answers, with comparable prices to doing them in house or sending to Idexx testing center. I would be faxing or emailing results to the RDVMs same day.

As far as I know, Abaxis rotors cannot be paired down to individual tests (hence my apprehension of using them). I am looking more and more at a competition between Heska and Idexx. Given my prior experience, I am looking more at Idexx.

If you had access to a diagnostic lab, would you prefer to send assistants with samples or would you rather their was transport, i.e. Uber/Lyft delivery or lab represenative. Alternatives include the machines mounted in a van and going to each clinic individually to run tests on samples, though I feel this limits the ability to serve all clinics at the same time.
 

david594

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When it comes to in house CBC machines I think our expectations may just be higher than reality. Even an Advia can only identify the normal cells and the rest get flagged as unclassified leukocytes. These flags trigger the need for a path review, and thats where they accuracy comes from.

Automated CBC machines will commonly read large circulating lymphoblasts as monocytes and circulating mast cells (and in some cases NRBC's) as lymphocytes.
 

CalliopeDVM

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If you had access to a diagnostic lab, would you prefer to send assistants with samples or would you rather their was transport, i.e. Uber/Lyft delivery or lab represenative. Alternatives include the machines mounted in a van and going to each clinic individually to run tests on samples, though I feel this limits the ability to serve all clinics at the same time.

I think that amount of constant low-level vibration wouldn't be good for the equipment or results. I live in a city where clinics have samples picked up by labs at least once (and sometimes 2 or 3 times) a day by lab reps; I have also done relief work in cities where samples must be sent by courier to the diagnostic lab (in those locations, most hematology is done in house; only unusual tests and C&S are sent out). I don't know of any situation where clinic staff are sent to the lab - that would be a huge loss of staff time at clinics that usually don't have extra staff to spare.
 

twelvetigers

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I think that amount of constant low-level vibration wouldn't be good for the equipment or results. I live in a city where clinics have samples picked up by labs at least once (and sometimes 2 or 3 times) a day by lab reps; I have also done relief work in cities where samples must be sent by courier to the diagnostic lab (in those locations, most hematology is done in house; only unusual tests and C&S are sent out). I don't know of any situation where clinic staff are sent to the lab - that would be a huge loss of staff time at clinics that usually don't have extra staff to spare.

We only use staff to take it over if it's urgent enough to warrant it, otherwise the labs come to pick up 1-3x a day depending on how many times we call, or how busy we are.
 

CalliopeDVM

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otherwise the labs come to pick up 1-3x a day depending on how many times we call, or how busy we are.
Ah, that's different from here, where the labs have drivers on a circuit and they stop by the clinic whether they are called or not. How often they stop by depends on their routing and the clinic's hours and volume (for example, an emerg clinic would get more frequent pick ups than a day practice).
 

orangecountyvet

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Could I get personal opinions and advice on which manufacturers and their machines work best for a veterinary diagnostics lab? I have worked with IDEXX machinery for 3 years now, but am looking for any options, given that their ProCyte analyzer is not all that accurate.

Specifically, I am looking for a company that I can purchase their complete lab setup (including software), are available (and helpful) in the event of a mechanical failure or error, and has a wide-range of tests to choose from.

Thank you in advance.
I have Heska machines for my in house labs and I really like it. It's fast and accurate. They also have electrolytes profile that can be run with the existing chem machine. However, I prefer to send out MOST non-emergent blood work as it's less costly for me and I'm offered two pick up times daily at no extra charge.
 
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