Objective—To compare the diagnostic quality of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid acquired from healthy dogs by manual aspiration via polyethylene tubing (MAPT) and via suction pump aspiration (SPA) with a suction trap connection.
Animals—12 healthy adult Beagles.
Procedures—BAL was performed with bronchoscopic guidance in anesthetized dogs. The MAPT was performed with a 35-mL syringe attached to polyethylene tubing wedged in a bronchus via the bronchoscope's biopsy channel. The SPA was performed with 5 kPa of negative pressure applied to the bronchoscope's suction valve via a suction trap. The MAPT and SPA techniques were performed in randomized order on opposite caudal lung lobes of each dog. Two 1 mL/kg lavages were performed per site. Samples of BAL fluid were analyzed on the basis of a semiquantitative quality scale, percentage of retrieved fluid, and total nucleated and differential cell counts. Results were compared with Wilcoxon signed rank tests.
Results—Percentage of BAL fluid retrieved (median difference, 16.2%), surfactant score (median difference, 1), and neutrophil count (median difference, 74 cells/μL) were significantly higher for SPA than for MAPT. A higher BAL fluid epithelial cell score was obtained via MAPT, compared with that for samples obtained via SPA (median difference, 1).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that in healthy dogs, SPA provided a higher percentage of BAL fluid retrieval than did MAPT. The SPA technique may improve the rate of diagnostic success for BAL in dogs, compared with that for MAPT. Further evaluation of these aspiration techniques in dogs with respiratory tract disease is required.