Whole organs may be submitted where necessary. This allows pathologists to assess and interpret gross findings, and to determine the best samples for histopathology. Whole organs may include splenic tumours, whole abnormal reproductive tissues, brains, and amputation specimens. Brains for TSE evaluation must be submitted whole, and not dissected before submission. Whole organs will incur an additional fee for tissue handling and pathologist examination.
Fresh samples: Fresh samples are not preferred, as delays in fixation can significantly affect the value of histopathology. However, if your practice is close to a Gribbles Veterinary laboratory and the sample will arrive at the lab on the same day it was collected, it may be sent fresh and unfixed in double plastic bags within a securely sealed, leak-proof container or bucket.
Fixed samples: It is preferred to completely fix large organs before shipping. Use a large wide-mouthed receptacle (e.g. a bucket), to fix the sample. Change the formalin after 24 hours and leave it at least two days. It often helps to partially transect large organs (brain excepted) like slicing a loaf of bread; this enables the formalin to penetrate adequately. Make slices 1 cm apart and do not cut completely through the organ in order that anatomical detail can still be recognised. If you submit partially fixed tissue, be aware that there may be a delay in reporting while we wait for the sample to fix. Once fixed, the pink soft texture of the centre of the cut tissue will be gone. The tissue can then be shipped in minimal formalin. Pour most of the formalin off, then wrap the organ in several layers of plastic within sealed bags (such as ziplock bags) to ensure there is no leakage. Place the organ within a sealed firm rigid container such as a large sealable bucket.
Screw-top plastic pots, larger sealable buckets.
All samples must be shipped in leak-proof, sealed containers with appropriate labelling (i.e. name, date, specimen/site). Sample containers and shipping materials can be ordered from Gribbles Veterinary Pathology.