Submission Based on Clinical Signs

submenu

Abortion

Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Horses

If possible, submit the entire fetus and placenta, chilled, not frozen. If the fetus cannot be submitted, send the following specimens:

  • Tissue - Refrigerated tissues from the lung, liver, spleen, kidney, brain, placenta, and fetal thoracic fluid. Tissues fixed in formalin from the lung, liver, spleen, kidney, heart, brain, placenta and diaphragm.
  • Placenta - The whole placenta is preferred but 3 or 4 fresh cotyledons and 1 or more cotyledons in formalin will suffice.
  • Stomach content - 1-3 ml collected in a sterile container.
  • Serum - Collect 3-5 ml serum from the dam and other aborting animals.

To send, place the fresh tissues in sterile plastic bags and chill or freeze. Use unbreakable, leak-proof containers for the formalin-fixed tissues. Ship in an insulated container with sufficient coolant, e.g. gel packs, to maintain refrigeration until the specimens arrive at the laboratory.

Notably for sheep, it is essential that placenta and/or fetal body cavity fluid or heart blood be submitted for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis and chlamydial infection.

Swine

Send the following specimens:

  • Fetus and placenta - If possible, submit in their entirety, chilled, not frozen. Send up to 3 representative fetuses per litter. Include all mummified fetuses from the litter.
  • Serum - Collect 1-3 ml serum from several affected sows (unaffected sows may be included for comparison).
  • Stomach content - 1-3 ml collected in a sterile container.

Pack fetuses and placentas in sterile plastic bags and chill. Ship in an insulated container with sufficient coolant, e.g. gel packs, to maintain refrigeration until the specimens arrive at the laboratory. 

Central Nervous Disorders

Sample Submission

Send the following specimens:

  • Fresh whole animal is ideal specimen.
  • Brain - Except in cases where rabies is suspected, split in halves longitudinally.  Keep one half fresh and the other half in formalin.  If rabies is suspected, see http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/rabies/risk/submission.html.  In case the brain may not be readily removed from the cranium, send the entire head to the laboratory. Ship fresh unfixed brain in a hard container such as Tupperware or similar plastic container.
  • Liver or EDTA blood - Submit for lead analysis. Also send liver for selenium.
  • Ileum - Send unfixed ileum for bacterial culture when suspecting Edema Disease in swine.

Enteritis

Sample Submission

Send the following specimens:

  • Jejunum and ileum - Send 15-20 cm of fresh tissue from each, as well as 2.5-5 cm of unopened sections, flushed and fixed with formalin.
  • Colon - Submit 15 cm (calf) or several partial loops (pig) of colon, fresh. Also send 2.5-5 cm of colon, flushed and fixed with formalin.
  • Colon or cecal content - Send 2-5 ml of fresh contents.
  • Mesenteric lymph nodes - Send fresh.
  • Feces - 1 gram minimum Ship in a hard spill proof container.

Samples must be taken as soon after death as possible. Do not open or tie-off intestines. Package and label each fresh intestinal segment in a separate, sterile, plastic bag. Chill fresh intestine and colon content before mailing. Do not freeze. Pool formalin-fixed tissues. Ship in an insulated container with sufficient coolant, e.g., gel packs, to maintain refrigeration until the specimens arrive at the laboratory.

Pneumonia

Sample Submission

Send the following specimens:

  • Lung and trachea - Submit fresh, generous samples of each in a sterile bag. Keep chilled, do not freeze. Also send thin slices of affected tissue in formalin.
  • Nasal turbinates - It is important to include nasal turbinates for the diagnosis of Inclusion body rhinitis (cytomegalovirus) and Atrophic rhinitis in swine.

It is advisable to submit a more comprehensive set of tissues when concurrent infection by other pathogens is suspected. For instance:

  • Serum, whole blood, lung, lymph nodes, spleen and ileum should be submitted when BVD in cattle is suspected.
  • Serum, tonsil, lung and lymph node should be submitted when PRRS is suspected in swine

Ship tissues in an insulated container with sufficient coolant, e.g., gel packs, to maintain refrigeration until the specimens arrive at the laboratory.