Vetscan Imagyst™: Positive Results in a Mixed Veterinary Practice
The team leader at Adobe Veterinary Center in Arizona describes how the business has incorporated Vetscan Imagyst into its equine practice.



person holding horse and dog
The team leader at Adobe Veterinary Center in Arizona describes how the business has incorporated Vetscan Imagyst into its equine practice. | Getty Images

Small animal practices have been using Vetscan Imagyst as a multipurpose platform longer than equine facilities for fecals, digital cytology image transfer, blood smears, and now dermatology. We talked with Dana Reardon, the practice team leader at Adobe Veterinary Center, in Tucson, Arizona, about the evolution of this device for equine fecal egg counts at the clinic. Three of Adobe’s veterinarians specialize in the care of dogs and cats, and the other four veterinarians specialize in the care of horses, livestock, and potbelly pigs.

Reardon said Adobe Veterinary Center was originally just using Vetscan Imagyst for small animal fecals when Zoetis asked the practice to take on a second device for testing equine fecal egg counts and reporting their findings. She said her team was excited to have another scanner to use to run equine and small animal fecals in addition to equine digital cytology.

“Reading a fecal—even a McMaster fecal—is very time-consuming,” said Reardon. Plus, with Vetscan Imagyst, “it gets back into the record. All we had to do was call the owner with the results.”

Positives of Imagyst Fecal Testing

Part of Adobe’s equine wellness program is to run fecal samples annually. Using veterinary technicians to read equine fecals is time-consuming. Also, “If you have to sit there and read 20 fecals, it makes you kind of nauseous,” said Reardon. Having the scanner perform the readout not only saves precious technician time but also avoids possible human error from looking at the microscope for hours on end.

Reardon said the environment is harsh in Arizona, so practitioners typically don’t see worm burdens in horses. But annual fecal egg count testing is good medicine, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends it.

Over in the small animal area, staff members read dog and cat fecals while clients were in the building, allowing veterinarians to make recommendations during visits. Being able to offer that same quick turnaround for equine clients hauling into the clinic would be good for business.

Reardon said the practice team could provide fecal egg count results and deworming recommendations before the client hauled home. Otherwise, dropping fecal samples off or taking them while on a farm call delays turnaround of findings and involves additional staff time for callbacks.

She said doing equine fecal samples by hand took a great deal of time; receiving the samples, setting them up, and spinning them down (they could do eight samples at a time) for 10-15 minutes took staff away from other responsibilities. The samples had to sit for another five to 10 minutes for the “float.” Reardon said with the volume they were testing, it was easy to confuse clients and slides.

While she said owners don’t know the difference in the tech staff hand-counting the equine fecal sample results and doing the test on this device, “it could be something we could promote,” she said. “Machine-reading instead of a human who could make errors” might be a selling point.

“In one of our meetings, we discussed having the receptionists tell (equine) clients to bring fecals in,” said Reardon.

Reardon said with small animals “the technicians are reminding clients, ‘Oh, while you are in the room, we can start your fecal.’ That has increased compliance and helps us make sure their pet is healthy.”

Vetscan Imagyst—Digital Cytology Image Transfer

The benefit of digital cytology and blood smear options from this technology probably isn’t equal among practices, said Reardon. “We are good at reading samples,” she said. “For a doctor that doesn’t have the time or desire to read the slides,” the cytology offerings on it are a benefit, with results provided by a board-certified pathologist in less than two hours.

“You also have images for the records” with Vetscan Imagyst, she added.

Reardon said there is a skill to doing the slide for blood smears with this device, just like there is for doing slides in-house.

“You can free up doctor and tech time, that’s huge!” she said. “It’s easy for techs to utilize, and they can move on to something else,” she said of using this technology. “We are providing the tech with equipment so they can do something else.”

Keeping Up with In-House Testing Demand

Reardon admitted that having a second Vetscan Imagyst in the practice means the team can do more in-house testing in less time, enabling them to run tests on dogs, cats, horses, or multiple patients simultaneously.

She said Adobe’s practice is growing so fast that “it would be good to have a second” device.

More Benefits of Using Vetscan Imagyst in Veterinary Practice

Reardon shared that internet speed is an important factor when using the device. The team worked with their internet provider to resolve connection issues so they can get results faster and maintain efficiencies.

“We like to run in-house instead of sending them out to the outsourced lab,” she said.

With Vetscan Imagyst, “you can spin down several at a time,” said Reardon. “Then you can switch out the slide and do another one. With equine, the differences from small animal (are) that you need to weigh the fecal sample and spin-down is not required.”

Reardon said using this device makes life simpler for the staff. “They can step away for the 10 minutes while the machine is reading it,” she said. “They can do something else. They don’t have to sit there and stare into a microscope.

“Dog/catwise it gives us results while the animal is still in the building,” she added, and permits treatment right away, if needed, so the client doesn’t have to come back.

She said the practice’s large animal clients “don’t want to come back here when they are an hour away,” said Reardon. “If they haul in, we can give them results before they leave.

Detecting Giardia in Small Animals With Vetscan Imagyst

Reardon also likes that Vetscan Imagyst can detect Giardia, which has been validated in small animal testing. Giardia can affect humans, horses, dogs, and cats.

She said the Adobe team also uses it to test small animals for Giardia. Before, staff had to send those samples to an outside lab.

“Being able to run a Giardia test, find Giardia, and keep the funds in-house versus sending to an outside lab is ideal!” she stressed. “Keep as many things in-house as you can.”

Further Reading

Vetscan Imagyst Allows Vets 24/7 Access to Clinical Pathologist for Cytology Results Within 2 Hours. Vetscan Imagyst gives veterinarians a straight line to a clinical pathologist available 24 hours a day who can quickly provide interpretation of cytology samples.

Editor’s note: For more information about Vetscan Imagyst, visit or talk to your Zoetis representative.


Written by:

Kimberly S. Brown is the editor of EquiManagement/ and the group publisher of the Equine Health Network at Equine Network LLC.

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