Toxicology

The University of Georgia Diagnostic Laboratory system no longer has a Veterinary toxicologist or toxicology laboratory. All toxicology related samples will be shipped to the Breathitt Veterinary Center Toxicology Laboratory in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, or the Michigan State University Toxicology Laboratory for analysis. Fees charged by those two referral laboratories for each test and associated shipping fees will be added to the overall cost of the specific case.

What samples are to be submitted for testing?

The most critical component for a successful toxicological analysis is selection of appropriate specimen. Sample selection depends on the type of toxin or poison, duration and level of exposure, dead or live animal, etc. Tested materials include food suspected of poisoning in the stomach of affected animals, bait, animal bedding, tissues and biological fluids from poisoned animals including serum, plasma, whole blood, stomach contents, urine, bile, cerebral spinal fluid, etc. Fresh or frozen liver, kidneys, brain, and adipose tissue (fat) is also suitable. The submitting veterinarian can send appropriate samples based on his/her choice or in consultation with laboratory personnel. The samples must be submitted along with detailed history, clinical signs and information about the environment of the animal which are critical components in selecting the appropriate samples for testing and appropriate test(s) to be conducted.

For appropriate testing results, the following components are also critical:

  1. adequate sample sizes
  2. appropriate packaging
  3. proper shipping conditions

Both frozen and fresh tissue samples are accepted based on the test to be conducted. Whole blood samples should not be frozen. An adequate volume/size of sample must be submitted or results may be unreliable. Further information for shipping, packaging and volume/size of sample is provided in our INTERACTIVE LAB TESTS & FEE SCHEDULE.