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Lab Samples

Laboratory sample protocol and FAQs

In-house laboratory features;

•   We have a well-equipped laboratory on-site, allowing us to perform microscopy, urinalysis, haematology, and biochemistry.  We also have separate analysers for measurement of blood glucose, lactate, and clotting times (APPT and PT), as well as SNAP tests for specific diseases including pancreatitis, feline AIDS and leukaemia viruses, and canine parvovirus.

•   In-house analysers allow us to obtain results very rapidly, and these will be reported within 24 hours of sampling. 

•   These tests can be run every day of the week.

External laboratory features;

•   More specific blood and urine tests, as well as in-depth cytology, culture and sensitivity, and histopathology are performed using an external lab (Idexx), based in Yorkshire. 

•   Samples are collected each weekday evening (weather permitting!) by an overnight courier.

•   Results are processed with variable turnaround times depending on the requested test.  This can vary from 1 day to 3-4 weeks.  Additionally, some tests are only performed on certain days of the week (e.g. canine/feline proBNP). 

•   Your pet’s vet will indicate when results are to be expected. 

Interpretation and reporting of results;

•   Once results are received, for both in-house and external samples, then your pet’s vet will call you to discuss them with you.  Please ensure that we have your correct contact details in order for them to do this. 

•   If you haven’t heard back from the vet within the estimated turnaround time, then please call to request a telephone appointment, and they will call you back when available.

•   Please note that results may not be sent through from the lab until the end of the day (6pm). 

•   Additionally, due to our evening consultation times and vets dealing with other patients, your pet’s vet may not be able to ring you until the end of their working day (7pm), or potentially the following day if they are dealing with an emergency. 

•   In the case of complex results or late receipt, then the vet may prefer to email you their interpretation with a copy of the results, as well as the recommended plan going forward.  Consequently, please also ensure that we have your email address on file.

FAQs

I was told that the results would be back today, so why haven’t I received a call yet?

Results may not be received until the end of the day (6pm).

If results are back, your pet’s vet must first analyse and interpret them before discussing them with you.  In many cases this takes time to do, but afterwards they will contact you as soon as possible around their other clinical commitments for the day.

In the case of external samples, there may have been a delay with collection by the courier, or in processing by the lab.  If this is the case then the receptionist will investigate the reason for the delay and keep you informed. 

Why can’t the receptionist tell me the results?

Receptionists are not clinically trained, and so are unable to interpret or provide context to the results.

To receive results without any explanatory information is not fair on you, especially if the results are sensitive and/or carry a poor prognosis. 

Therefore, for the safety of your pet and your peace of mind, it is much better to wait for the case vet to discuss the results with you.

Why can’t another vet or nurse tell me the results?

Results need to be interpreted by your pet’s vet based on their knowledge of your pet’s history and health problems.  In so doing, the context of the results can be properly understood, and a treatment and/or further investigation plan safely formulated around this. 

Other vets or nurses in the practice will of course be able to understand the results, however they will not easily be able to interpret them or discuss treatment and/or further investigation options without a thorough knowledge of your pet’s history.  To do so would add considerable time to the reporting process, and could result in errors being made.

 I have been told that some of the results are back, so why hasn’t the vet contacted me?

Results may come through in stages, however it is likely that your pet’s vet will require receipt of the complete set of results before being able to analyse and interpret them properly.  Therefore, they will contact you once full testing is complete. 

My pet’s vet is off today, so who will report the results?

At Congleton Vets, full-time staff members work a 4-day week.  As such, vets are off one weekday per week (or two if working the weekend).

On receipt of results you pet’s vet will contact you on their next working day. 

If the vet has deemed the results to be urgent, then they will have requested that a named colleague will report the results on their behalf. 

My pet’s vet is on holiday, so do I need to wait until they’re back at work to receive the results?

No.  In this situation your pet’s vet will have discussed the case with a named colleague, and requested that they contact you once results have been received by the clinic.

We apologise in advance if this causes any delays to the reporting process, however your pet’s results will be in addition to the named colleague’s own caseload.

My pet was seen by a locum vet, so who will report the results?

If the locum vet that saw your pet is working again when the results are received, then they will contact you in the same way as one of our permanent vets would.

If however the locum vet is not scheduled to work with us again once the results are received, then they will have discussed the case with a permanent vet on duty on the day of sampling, and this vet will contact you with your pet’s results. 

Once again, please accept our apologies if this causes slight delays in the reporting process on account of increased caseload. 

Am I able to receive a copy of my pet’s laboratory results?

Yes. Your pet’s vet will happily email you a copy of their results if you wish, or we can print one out for your collection in person if you prefer. 

Practice information

Congleton Veterinary Centre

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Tue
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Wed
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Thu
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Fri
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Sat
    8:30am - 4:00pm
  • Sun
    10:00am - 1:00pm

Emergency Details

Please call:

01260 272131
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Find us here:

West Heath Retail Park Sandbach Road Congleton Cheshire CW12 4NB
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01260 272131