Sample Handling Requirements
For our tests, we recommend an 8-12 hour fasted
serum sample for non-diabetic patients, and a 6 hour fasted
serum sample for diabetic patients. Please note that the serum MUST
be separated from the blood clot and serum should be transferred
into a new tube. The serum sample may be sent in a red top tube or
any other leak-proof tube without additives as long as the serum is
separated from the clot. Wrap the tube in enough absorbent material
(e.g., paper towels) to absorb its entire contents in case of a
spill, and place it in a plastic (i.e., ziploc) bag. Include at
least one gel ice pack with your shipment to keep the sample at
cool temperatures. Do not include ice cubes. Please note that
lipemia and hemolysis may interfere with some test results,
therefore we prefer a clear serum sample that is not lipemic or
hemolytic to avoid inaccurate results.
Please find below the absolute minimum SERUM requirements.
Any volume less than this can result in cancellation or incomplete
We recommend that you send your sample with Fed-Ex or UPS.
Please do not mail packages through US mail (USPS).The various
analytes have different stability in serum. Serum TLI and PLI are
stable for up to 2 weeks at room temperature, however if sending
with cobalamin/folate the following storage and shipping conditions
should be followed for the sample:
- Serum samples for folate analysis should be kept at 4°C
(refrigerated) for not longer than 48 hours, freezing is
- We recommend that any samples with serum cobalamin/folate
analysis as any portion of the testing be shipped overnight either
frozen or at least with ice packs to keep them cooled during
- Some assays such as gastrin and cardiac troponin are not stable
unless frozen. Please see individual assays for
Please note that there is NO Saturday delivery for the GI
Lab at Texas A&M University. Packages will sit unattended
until we return on Monday even for FedEx or UPS.
to delivery procedures at such a large university, packages sent
with the US Postal Service can often be delayed or even lost within
departments. Please DO NOT use the US Postal Service as a
Fecal samples for fecal alpha 1 - Proteinase
Inhibitor testing need to arrive frozen at the
laboratory in special tubes. Please call the lab for more
information on ordering these tubes. We highly recommend shipping
such samples overnight on dry ice.
Due to a shortage in native canine alpha-1-PI we had to
suspend all fecal alpha-1-PI testing. We are working on
purification of more protein, but at the moment we can not accept
any new samples for testing – we apologize for any inconvenience
this may cause! Please contact us should you have any further
Collections and Shipping information for fecal PCR, IFA, and
Bacterial Toxin Assays
For these tests we will require 2-4 grams (size of 1-2 walnuts)
of fresh feces. For storage and shipping, please collect the sample
and ship as soon as possible for best results.
Samples can be stored in the refrigerator over the weekend if
you cannot ship by Thursday. (Lab personnel are not here on
weekends to accept packages)
Please ship samples COOLED overnight with frozen gel ice
packs. For international shipping, please ensure that enough
ice packs are added so that the sample stays cool until
PLEASE NOTE: We are offering discounted shipping within
the US for our clinics by using preprinted shipping labels
available through our web page (please contact the lab for more
Effects of antimicrobials on fecal testing for infectious
In general we recommend waiting at least two weeks after
stopping treatment with antimicrobials before performing any of the
fecal assays for infectious agents that we offer (apart from the
Heterobilharzia americanum PCR tests). Probiotics are
not expected to affect these tests. In a small proportion of dogs,
antimicrobials can affect (increase) the dysbiosis index for
several months after the cessation of treatment. Probiotics are not
expected to have a major effect on the dysbiosis index. As always
please feel free to arrange a consult with one of internists to
discuss specific cases.
Please prepare your package:
1. Plastic, leakproof (screwtop preferred) sample tubes in a
sealed plastic bag (i.e., Ziploc) with enough absorbent material to
soak entire contents in case of a spill.
2. Add several frozen gel ice packs or dry ice (Shipping dry ice
has specific regulations; please contact your carrier for
instructions). Please, do not include ice cubes.
3. Packing material for extra padding
4. We are offering discounted shipping by using preprinted
shipping labels available through our web page (please contact the
lab for more information). Please note that the GI Lab does not
accept packages marked "Bill Receiver".
Please note that there is NO Saturday delivery for the GI
Lab at Texas A&M University. Packages will sit unattended until
we return on Monday Note: Due to delivery procedures at such a
large university, packages sent with the US Postal Service can
often be delayed or even lost within departments. Please DO NOT use
the US Postal Service as a carrier.
5. Somewhere on the outside of the package, as well as on the
shipping label, please mark "Exempt Animal Specimen." This is a
requirement of the Texas Department of Transportation.
6. Please include a completed Submission Form inside the
package with your sample.
In addition to the guidelines listed above, please include the
Please attach the following statement below on your letterhead in
the shipping documents on the outside of the box. Also include a
copy inside the box on official letterhead with a signature.
"This shipment contains only canine/feline serum, urine or
fecal samples (word as appropriate and include the number of
samples) for diagnostic testing. These samples are not contagious
or infectious, and have not been derived from animals exposed to
agents of agricultural concern. This shipment has no commercial