Tools of the trade: Intec microscope


by Dr Claire Castles, Burnie Veterinary Centre, TAS

This microscope has been in our practice for years. It’s an older model with no bells or whistles but is essential for diagnosis.

What’s good about it

I use it for looking at samples from the skin and ears, sediment from a urine culture or cytology samples from fine needle aspirations. This is a traditional monocular microscope with no video attachments and no way to record an image. When a cytology sample reveals suspicious cells—usually cancer cells—I like to send that off for a second opinion. It’s possible to send that particular slide, but I prefer to take a tissue sample so it can be graded. The microscope has 100X, 400X and 1000X magnification. The highest magnification is great for looking at cells or bacteria. For things like parasites, a lower magnification is required. The microscope sits in our lab area and is used on a daily basis. There is space to store slides if you want someone else to take a look or to compare the results a week later. It really is an essential piece of equipment for diagnostics in any vet practice.

What’s not so good

This microscope doesn’t have the facility for oil immersion viewing. It’s also a little difficult to share results or get a second opinion when you have to take turns looking down the eyepiece. It would be nice to upgrade to a digital model with the results displayed on a screen. That being said, this is still a perfectly good microscope.


  1. It’s incredible to see all the technology that we have now and what we can do with it! I bet using this kind of microscope really helps vets when they are trying to find out what’s wrong with animals. This article says that the vet uses it every day so it much be a pretty good tool!


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