1. Collect the right specimens: The Fee Guide may provide adequate information but if you are in doubt please call the laboratory,
2. DO:
  • Refer to specific discipline sections of this manual for detailed information regarding your diagnostic requirements.
  • Submit separate samples for each test (bacteriology, virology, etc.) in individually labelled containers. Ensure there is at least 1 identifier present on the sample container which matches that on the sample submission form (patient name, reference ID, etc.).
  • Submit tissues in separate, labelled, properly sealed non-leak new or clean containers. Choose non-leak containers and ensure that they are not cross threaded and leaking any fluids.
  • Separate serum from clot after clotting is complete and place in a labelled non-additive tube for shipment. Whole blood is required for some testing – please see the referral guide for specific test requirements.
  • We recommend that tubes are contained in Styrofoam tube boxes or in other suitable material to prevent breakage during shipping.
  • Bubble wrap is also recommended to provide additional cushioning.
  • Place sample submission form(s) in a separate plastic bag.
  • Place ice packs in a separate plastic bag or wrap in paper towel or newspaper.
3. DO NOT:
  • Do not submit sample in rectal gloves.
  • Do not submit samples in syringes with needles.
  • Do not submit samples in glass containers.
  • Do not submit large volumes of formalin.
  • Do not ship perishable samples to arrive on holidays.
4. Complete the sample submission form:
  • Information on species, breed, age, sex, morbidity, mortality, history and treatment is essential for interpretation.
  • Supply full name and address of clinic and veterinarian and owner or producer.
  • Please indicate if zoonotic disease,(i.e. rabies, leptospirosis,) is a consideration.
5. Identify each specimen:
  • Give source (urine, serum, aspirate etc.)
  • Ensure there is at least 1 identifier present on the sample container which matches that on the sample submission form (patient name, reference ID, etc.).
  • Specify test requested on each container (urinalysis, culture, chemistry profile, etc.)
6. Prepare for shipping:
  • Place samples in proper containers. Package carefully to prevent leakage. Contain the requisition sheet in a plastic bag to prevent moisture damage.
  • Use mailing containers that meet standards for Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Type IB packaging, www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu.htm, which consists of watertight inner packaging surrounded by absorbent material, watertight secondary inner packaging and sturdy outer packaging (corrugated cardboard).
  • Frozen specimens: pack with gel-type ice packs. Wrap in 5-6 layers of absorbent paper and place inside an insulated container.
  • All biohazardous samples must be packaged in a new or disinfected suitable primary container which has been disinfected on the outside and then placed in a suitable secondary container with enough absorbent material, and the outside disinfected.
7. Unsuitable specimens:
  • A specimen may not be accepted and/or processed if contamination of the packaging poses a risk to personnel or if the specimen is spoiled, contaminated, or inappropriate.
  • The consignor will be notified and fees will reflect administration and disposal of the specimen.
  • Formalin – see ensuing notes
8. Multiple sample testing – Mammalian/Aquatic - Research or Diagnostic
  • Please make prior arrangements with laboratory for multiple sample submissions.
9. Follow-up samples – Convalescent, re-submissions
  • When submitting additional samples, please reference the original Diagnostic Services Laboratory Number on a new sample submission form.