Planning a mobile veterinary laboratory is less about giving the right answers and more about making sure you’ve asked the right questions.
Whatever you can do in a mobile test lab, you can do better in a well equipped, purpose-built veterinary laboratory. So the first question is, why would you want a mobile lab anyway?
The only reason for taking a mobile lab to animals in the field – often literally, is because the animals can’t come to you. That could be because the animals are too ill, too far away, too many or because the outcome of a laboratory diagnostic enables an immediate veterinary response without a second on-site visit.
Justifying the investment in a mobile resource
The next question might be what could you usefully do on-site? This will depend on your vet lab’s customer base. With a large animal practice, screening large numbers of cattle, sheep, poultry and other livestock for parasites and blood disorders might justify the investment in a mobile resource. Practices with a mainly small animal base might usefully offer on-site veterinary diagnostics to kennels, catteries and breeders where numbers create an economy of scale.
With a clear idea of why you need a mobile vet lab and what you want to do, you can start to think about what you need to put into it. The first requirement is simply space. If you can’t transport enough space to work in – either self-propelled or towed, then you might consider simply transporting equipment and setting up a lab in-situ.
Going truly mobile
In any situation, don’t overlook the basics. You’ll need solid, stable work surfaces that you can keep clean. You’ll need enough lighting to see what you’re doing, and you’ll need to keep warm… or cool. Electricity is essential, as is a supply of water and safe drainage or containment of waste. If you’re going truly mobile, you may be surprised by the amount of space you need for laboratory consumables – even before you consider how to squeeze in cold or frozen storage.
Before committing to your vehicle, trailer or even tent, lay out a floor plan and mark out where you’d put your lab benches, storage and veterinary equipment including centrifuges, microscopes and small equipment. Then ask… do I really need to do this at all?
Many of the most essential veterinary diagnostic kits for the most frequently required tests need no laboratory facilities or equipment. Vetlab Supplies Ltd`s FASTest range of diagnostic kits are quick, simple to use, reliable and with long shelf-lives even at room temperature. With FASTest veterinary diagnostics, you can turn your car, your field-kit, a bicycle or even your jacket pockets into a fully-functional, quick response veterinary test laboratory.