Pathology and Cytology

​​​​Field necropsy /Laboratory necropsy

Necropsies must be carried out as soon as possible after death. If delayed, the carcase should be kept cool but not frozen (e.g. refrigeration for small animals; at least shade or cover with wet sack for large animals).

For necropsy submissions to the laboratory, the animal should be submitted live or as soon as practicable post death. If there is a delay (more than 6 hours) in submitting the whole animal, the carcase should be kept cool (<5°C).

For cases where death has occurred over 12 hours ago or when submitting the animal after 2pm on a Friday the duty pathologist must be contacted on (03) 6777 2111 prior to submission.

A complete a range of specimens should be collected. For further information re: field necropsy or collection of samples refer to the Field Necropsy LabFact sheet or contact the laboratory.

Collection of samples

Bloods, fluids and tissues collected at post-mortem are to be stored appropriately (between 2 and 8°C) prior to submission to the laboratory. Please note that blood collected after death is unsuitable for haematology or clinical chemistry.

For histopathology

Tissues are placed in at least ten (10) times their volume of neutral buffered formalin

Tissue slices should be not more than one (1) cm thick. (Brains submitted under the NTSESP should be submitted whole.)

Containers should

  • be leak proof;
  • preferably wide-mouthed;
  • plastic rather than glass (glass jars can break and release formalin);
  • food containers e.g. jam, sauce and pickles etc. are not acceptable.

Cytology

As soon as possible after collection, place sample on a clean microscope slide and air dry.

Suitable samples include -

  • Fine needle aspirate smears;
  • impression smears;
  • smears of blood or other body fluids;
  • scrapings and squash preparations.

Original fluid samples (e.g. joint fluid or fluids from body cavities) should also be submitted (if possible) in an EDTA tube.

Please note that fluid samples taken from animals which have been dead for over 1 hour or fluid samples that arrive at the laboratory more than 24 hours after collection are often of limited diagnostic value.​​ 

Contact

Animal Health Laboratory - Specimen Reception
Mt Pleasant Laboratory
(Postal) PO Box 46
KINGS MEADOWS TAS 7249
(Delivery) 165 Westbury Road
PROSPECT TAS 7250
Phone: 03 6777 2111
Email: specimenreception@dpipwe.tas.gov.au
Website: http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/AHLabs