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BAL Cytology

When we do a Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) cytology at the Tufts Center for Equine Respiratory Health, you not only get a cytological diagnosis, but you also have access to our clinicians for advice on treatment.

If you need detailed advice on doing a BAL in the field, please download our BAL PowerPoint.

If you are comfortable performing a BAL, but haven’t made your own slides before, it’s quite easy – follow our instructions detailed instructions.

After you have aspirated the BAL fluid, make sure that there is a detectable foam on the top which will let you know that you have indeed obtained a nice sample of lung fluid. Gently agitate the fluid by rocking the container or syringe back and forth five to ten times, making sure it is well mixed.

Download and complete the submission form:

Download the BAL Submission form to mail with your sample.

Send us the following by overnight mail:

  1. Two purple tops and two red tops of fluid on ice. Identify each tube with:
    • Horse's name, breed, and sex
    • Owner's name
    • Date sample was taken
  2. Completed BAL Submission form.

Mail samples and form to:

Tufts Equine Respiratory Health Lab
Cummings Veterinary Medical Center
ATTN: Dr. Melissa Mazan
53 Willard St.
N. Grafton, MA 01536

Call to let us know that a sample is coming:


We are happy to read your slides, but please also remember to send us fluid as an added precaution. If you are in the area, please call our front desk reception 508-839-7926 to let us know that you will be dropping off the fluid.

Our Doctors

  • Dr. Melissa Mazan

    Melissa Mazan


Dr. Melissa Mazan

Melissa Mazan


Dr. Melissa Mazan co-leads the Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab and is a world-recognized expert in the field of equine asthma. Dr Mazan’s work led to the creation of the first clinical lung function laboratory in North America where lung function testing is regularly used to help improve equine performance. Dr. Mazan earned her B.A. at Yale University and her DVM from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.  She is board-certified in the America College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal). Dr. Mazan teaches courses on respiratory medicine and pathophysiology, as well as exercise physiology at Cummings School where she was drawn by the opportunity to combine research, clinical work and teaching.  She also developed the first veterinary telemedicine teaching service in the United States for working equids in Fez, Morocco. Dr. Mazan’s interest in equine health and performance began when she was a member of the Varsity Polo Team at Yale University and the Captain of the Polo Team at the University of Oxford, and when she was managing her own barn and competing as a junior in equitation and Pony Club.

Internal Medicine Service

    Tufts Equine Respiratory Health Lab
    Cummings Veterinary Medical Center
    ATTN: Dr. Melissa Mazan
    53 Willard St.
    N. Grafton, MA 01536




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