Bone Marrow Aspirate
A bone marrow aspiration is a test used to identify diseases in the bone marrow. Usually these diseases are causing some sort of abnormality in the pet’s complete blood count, including: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. A bone marrow aspirate can be used, in many cases, to more definitively diagnose the disease process. In animals, samples are taken from either the humerus (larger bone in the front limb) or the pelvis. At the very least, local anesthesia is performed in the site, but heavy sedation or even general anesthesia may be required to perform the procedure. The sample is collected with a wide gauge needle and is submitted for pathologist review, along with a complete blood count. Sometimes a core biopsy is necessary if the bone marrow is severely affected. This is more common to be necessary in cats. This sample can be taken at the same time as the bone marrow aspiration procedure. Most patients are not painful after the procedure, but a light pain medication may be prescribed for a few days to ensure your pet is comfortable afterwards.