1. Clinical virology specimens should be collected as soon as possible following the onset of illness. Refer to the  “Available Tests” section on our website if further information regarding specimen selection, collection and transport procedures are required.

2. All specimens must be properly identified and labelled. The specimen must be clearly labelled with the animal identifier, the owners name, or the laboratory or hospital reference number. This information must match what is indicated on the sample submission form.

3. Specimen containers and submission forms must clearly identify the organ/organs submitted or the name of the specimen (ex: nasal swabs, blood swabs etc.).

4. Specimens should be collected aseptically, refrigerated promptly, and sent to the laboratory as soon as possible after collection. Please freeze the specimen if it cannot be sent to the laboratory within 24 hours (ex: weekend)

5. Swabs collected for testing should be placed in Viral Transport Media and refrigerated until shipment. Please ship specimen as soon as possible after sampling. Viral Transport media can be purchased from the RDVS laboratory by calling 902-566-0877. Swabs in bacterial culture are not a suitable substitute for viral transport media and should not be used.

6. Tracheal or bronchoalveolar washings should be placed in a sterile screw cap sterile container.

7. Tissues (3-5 cm) should be collected as aseptically as possible and placed in a sterile, leak-proof container. If possible, collect areas with lesions and adjacent normal tissues. Collect samples from 2 or 3 areas. For smaller animals and birds, include the whole organ.

8. A minimum of 1.0 ml of serum is required for each serology test. Please include, when possible, an additional 1.0mL of serum for each additional test. Collect whole blood in a red-top vacutainer and allow the samples to clot at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Release the clot using a sterile applicator stick and centrifuge the sample. Transfer the serum supernatant to a sterile tube. Refrigerate serum until shipment.

If a centrifuge is not available, remove the clot and set aside the serum. When centrifuged, 10.0 mL of whole blood should yield approximately 3-5  mL of serum.

For serodiagnosis, paired serum samples are required. The acute sample is collected at the onset of the illness and the convalescent sample is collected 2-3 weeks later. Acute sample(s) should be stored at -20 degrees C while waiting to collect the convalescent sample. Paired serum samples must be clearly identified as acute (A) or convalescent (C).

We recognize that there are situations where submitting a single sample is necessary. Please specify the reason(s) in your submission form, e.g. sale, animal has died, determination of vaccination titer, etc.