The following common mistakes create safety concerns, degrade the diagnostic value of specimens, and delay the processing of samples.

1. Fresh tissue samples.

  • Sample shipped with inadequate or no cooling.
  • For Friday cases, fresh tissue samples should be refrigerated over the weekend and shipped on Monday by overnight courier service.
  • Be aware of 3-day weekends and ship after the weekend; refer to Business Hours. Fresh tissue samples shipped without secondary, leak-proof packaging; interior of shipping container soiled with blood and body fluids.
  • No warning (phone call, email, or note on package) of potentially zoonotic disease samples in package.

2. Biopsy and other histopathology samples

  • Biopsy samples have no label on the specimen container; include animal name, owner name, and clinic case number.
  • Biopsy sample submitted without secondary, leak-proof packaging.
  • Biopsy submitted in pill bottles, which are not designed for fluid containment.
  • Fresh tissue wedged into a rigid container with small opening. After fixation, the firm, fixed tissue cannot be removed without cutting open the container.
  • Submission form placed in secondary container with leaking biopsy; papers arrive soaked in formalin.
  • Biopsy shipped in container with Biohazard symbol. This is not necessary and creates high levels of concern if identified by the courier.

3. Blood tubes

  • Blood tube boxes and containers contain discarded needles.
  • Blood tubes inadequately packaged; arrive leaking due to loose caps or stopper, or tube broken.
  • Blood tubes inadequately labeled.
  • Blood tubes coated in dried, crusted blood.

4. Forms

  • Use of out-date forms. Current approved forms are available at Submission Forms. Incomplete veterinary contact information.
  • Submission form lacks signature of submitting, responsible person.
  • Incomplete client identification on form
  • Incomplete animal identification on form: ID, breed, sex, age

Shipping Options

Service TypeWeight LimitAdditional RestrictionsCost (Flat Rate)Same-Day PickupFuture-Day Pickup
UPS Ground40 lbs. or lessSent from Alabama$7$6.90$5.80
UPS Next Day Air20 lbs. or lessSent from Alabama$15$6.90$5.80
UPS Next Day Air10 lbs. or lessSent from GA, TN, FL and MS$20$6.90$5.80
UPS Next Day Air10 lbs. or lessSent from the other 43 contiguous states$30$6.90$5.80
*Shipping samples outside of the approved weight will incur an additional charge.