A veterinarian may perform cytology in several different ways depending on the tissues that are involved. The most common technique is known as fine needle aspiration or FNA. It is done by inserting a needle into the tissue with an empty syringe, then extracting some of the cells.
Other techniques include scraping skin cells from a patch of skin or using a cotton-tipped swab. This swab then removes cells from the nose, ear, eye, or vagina. The method used depends on the tissues that are being analyzed.