Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more submission forms?
Click here to download. We can also fax or e-mail extras if requested.

Can I send my samples in Whirl-pak bags or other containers?
We recommend sending samples in two-ounce milk vials. Whirl-pak bags leak and sample sterility is lost. Whirl-pak bags, as well as other non-milk vials, require extra handling. Therefore an extra fee is applied for each sample not sent in a 2-oz. milk vial.

How and where do I get sample vials?
Click here to order sample vials from LUH. You can also check with your local veterinary supplier, or milk processor.

I checked full mastitis culture and did not receive a Mycoplasma result.
Mycoplasma testing is a separate request. The box for Mycoplasma needs to be checked on the form so we can perform the tests desired.

I sent in samples and have not received results yet.
Mycoplasma results take seven to ten days to be reported. Most other testing takes a minimum of two business days from receipt of samples. Results are normally faxed and/or e-mailed. Please note your preferred method of receiving reports. Please indicate on the submission form who should receive results.

What does a Full Mastitis Culture include?
Full Mastitis Culture includes identification of all aerobic bacterial growth. Common organisms identified include: Staph sp., Staph. aureus, E. coli, Klebiella sp., Serratia sp., Streps to the species level, Bacillus sp., yeast, and Prototheca sp.. Full Mastitis culture does not include antibiotic sensitivity testing. Mycoplasma testing is an additional charge and requires a specific request on the submission form.

Do I need to send different patrons in different boxes?
No. Many different patrons can be sent in one box, as long as the samples are placed in separate bags clearly labeled with patron name. There should be a separate submission form included for each patron. This ensures that the appropriate tests are performed.

Do I have to fill out separate forms for each test I want?
No. As long as the samples are clearly labeled with the test requested one form can be used for all samples from one patron. However, please make sure your samples are bagged and labeled according to the test requested.

How much sample is needed to run a bedding culture?
Generally a one-quart bag is enough sample. Sending less than one quart could result in inaccurate representation of bacteria levels in bedding.

Is it ok to send bulk tank cultures or other samples in syringes?
No. Needles are illegal to send in the mail without proper hazardous documentation. Syringes tend to leak and if the needles are left on, it can be very dangerous to lab personnel. Over filled syringes blow the plunger off when frozen and lose sterility. 

Can I get a sensitivity test on a bulk tank sample?
No. Generally, it is not recommended to run sensitivities on bulk tank samples. Environmental agents (Coliforms, Non-ag streps and Staph species) come from the environment as well as the gland. Thus, results may be misleading. 

What is a bacteria isolate identification?
Unknown isolate from a petri dish is sent to the lab for identification or confirmation.

I sent in four vials for a bulk tank culture and only got one result.
Multiple samples for one bulk tank test are pooled, unless otherwise noted on the submission form. Using 3-5 days of bulk tank samples increases the probability of finding contagious agents.

How full do milk sample tubes need to be?
It is recommended to fill tubes 1/2-3/4 full, because milk expands when frozen, causing lids to pop open and samples to spill. 

Do I need to notify your lab when I am sending samples?
If you are sending a large group (200+). In that case, please notify the lab at least 48 hours in advance.

How much water is required to do a water test?
Please provide at least 150 mL or 2 cups.

How should I pack milk samples for shipping?
Place frozen milk samples in a bag labeled with farm name and test requested. Make sure sample caps are secured. Pack in an insulated box with ice packs. Fill out a submission form and place in a plastic bag, to keep it dry, before including it in the box. Fill in spaces with crumpled newspaper. Following this procedure helps ensure samples arrive in good condition so accurate and timely results can be provided. More detailed packing and shipping guidelines

Contact Us

Laboratory for Udder Health
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
University of Minnesota
1333 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-1098

Phone: (612) 625-8787
Toll Free: (800) 605-8787
Fax: (612) 624-4824