|Sample Requirement||Turnaround Time|
EDTA, plain, cytospin
+/- swab for culture
Same working day (cytology)
~48 hours (culture)
BAL samples can be helpful in the diagnosis of small airway disease. One must remember that the technique samples a focal area only and does not help with the diagnosis of tracheobronchitis. It is therefore more commonly used in older horses for the characterisation of reactive airway obstruction.
Cytological examinations of tracheal wash or BAL samples may help in the characterisation of mucous production and acute and chronic, septic and reactive (non-septic) inflammatory responses. The demonstration of significant numbers of eosinophils in association with signs of septic bronchitis/bronchiolitis may be a useful diagnostic aid for lungworm (Dictyocaulus arnfieldi) infestation, in horses and ponies coughing at pasture. Bacterial culture can be useful in identifying specific pathogens and guiding antimicrobial therapy.