Whole animals submitted for necropsy should not be frozen, but should be shipped overnight on ice within an insulated container. Frozen carcasses may take a long time to thaw and greatly increase turn-around time. Freezing also kills many bacteria, often preventing accurate bacterial culture, and creates serious tissue artifacts on histopathology.
By submitting diagnostic specimens, clients understand that such specimens will not be returned to them unless prior arrangements are made with the lab. In the special case of carcasses submitted for necropsy: remains will only be released to registered pet cremation services, to prevent accidental transmission of any potential pathogens from the laboratory; animal remains designated as "hold for cremation service" will be held for a maximum of two (2) weeks, after which the Laboratory will dispose of them en masse with other carcasses.
Specimens for histopathology should be submitted in neutral buffered 10% formalin solution in wide-mouthed, leak- and shatter-proof containers. The volume ratio of tissue to formalin must be at least 1:10. Tissues fixed for 24 hours in an appropriate amount of formalin prior to submission may be subsequently submitted in a smaller container with a reduced amount of fixative, thus decreasing the size and weight of the container used for shipping. Containers must be labeled with names of the veterinarian, owner, and animal. The label must also have the date collected and information about the sample submitted. Pencil should be used if there is a chance that the label will come in contact with formalin. When multiple biopsies are submitted with one case, each tissue should be submitted in a separate container and labeled appropriately. For neoplasms, inking of surgical margins with India ink, for example, is recommended for the most accurate assessment of completeness of excision.
Improper handling or fixation of tissues can induce artifacts that may result in non-diagnostic specimens. Examples of improper handling include:
Punch biopsies, at least 6mm in size, of multiple affected areas are recommended. There is a single charge for dermatophology cases, regardless of the number of punch biopsies submitted. We encourage the submission of at least 4-6 skin punch biopsies with primary dermatological disease. Primary lesions are most diagnostic, so biopsy early lesions (e.g., papules, pustules, vesicles, bullae, wheals, etc) rather than chronic ones. Ulcerated lesions are typically not rewarding.
If you are unsure how to most appropriately sample a lesion, please call with questions prior to biopsy.
This report includes diagnosis and comment. All information required for prognosis (e.g. mitotic rate, completeness of excision, vascular invasion, behavior of lesions, etc.) is included in the comment.
This report includes the information in the brief/routine report, as well as a detailed histologic description of the lesion.
Submission of a complete set of tissues is recommended. Both formalin-fixed and fresh tissues should be submitted.
Alternatively, fresh tissues may be saved, refrigerated, or frozen, if microbial culture or toxicological testing is not needed.
Definitive diagnosis of infectious diseases and toxins often requires ancillary testing (i.e., culture, virus isolation, fluorescent antibody testing,
electron microscopy, etc.) that cannot be performed on formalin-fixed tissues.
The following is a list of suggested tissues to be collected during practitioner necropsies: