We are lucky to be able to offer CSF taps (cisternal puncture) at the practice, performed by Dr Richard Lucy. This test is performed under general anaesthetic and doesn’t take long in the right hands to produce a sample of CSF. The sample needs to get to the laboratory within 30-45 minutes to be analysed.
This isn’t a common diagnostic test but if you suspect an encephalopathy or myelopathy in a patient, CSF can provide important information cell counts, total protein concentration and cytological examination.
Common diseases diagnosed from a CSF tap are GME (granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis), Steroid responsive meningitis, meningoencephalitis secondary to FIP, Toxoplasmosis and Neosporosis and some brain tumors.
On CSF you can also do bacteria cultures, antibody titres for canine distemper, and PCR’s for Neospora, FIP or Toxoplasmosis.