FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to send my samples via mail?

The only samples that are best sent by US Mail are histology specimens. Due to US mail and mailroom delays, we may not receive your sample for several days. For best results, your blood samples should be analyzed within 48 hours.

Should I spin my samples before shipping?

The only blood tubes that should never be centrifuged are for CBC, polyomavirus, PBFD, and Chlamydophila PCR testing. For best results of all other tests, you should centrifuge the blood and separate the serum or plasma to a small (volume appropriate) transport tube. We prefer 0.5ml microfuge tubes and can supply them to you at no cost. Centrifugation will greatly improve all your results!

Should I prepare blood smears before shipping?

Yes, delay of smear preparation – even by a few hours – is enough to alter your CBC results. You can see a short video on smear preparation on this website.

When can I expect my results?

Almost all tests are run on the same day that your sample arrives. Expect a fax of your results by close of business within 24 hours of shipping (if you have used an express shipping service like FedEx). If you do have any pending tests at that time, they will be completed by the following day. Please note, you can always request STAT processing for a small fee.

Where do I get my culture and gram stain results from?

Comparative Pathology does not do microbiology. Any cultures that we receive are passed on to Micrim Labs. You will receive your results and bill for this work directly from this lab. You can contact them at 800-330-GERM.

Do I need to ship with cold paks?

For most samples, cold paks are helpful but not necessarily required if you use FedEx. If you choose to use cold paks, make sure that your blood samples are not in direct contact with them. Place some insulation between whole blood and cold pak or you will freeze your blood samples and render them useless for the tests.

How do I prepare fecal samples? What swabs do I use for antigen tests?

Fecal samples for Giardia and Cryptosporidium tests can be placed in a very small amount of 10% buffered formalin (just enough to wet the feces). For swab based tests, please use swabs with Modified Stuart’s Medium in the glass ampule – please do not use gel transport swabs.

What if I don’t think I have enough sample volume to do the tests I want?

If you have any belief that you do not have adequate sample volume or a sample in the right type of tube, call us for advice. In addition, write your priority list on the lab request form so we know what is most important for you.

What information is needed on the submission form?

Please print the owner and patient information clearly. Give age and sex when known as this aids our database. The species – whenever possible the complete species (i.e. umbrella cockatoo vs. cockatoo) – is also important. Also, mark on the form in the space provided what you are submitting to us – slides, green top tube, swab, … Lastly, clearly mark the tests you want and make sure include any patient history you may have. This helps us in our research programs.