Submit a Sample

Sample Submission

First, determine what type of specimen is needed for the desired test(s).  Please refer to our Web Search Tool to search for the specific tests. From the search tool, determine the specimen type and amount is needed for that particular test or tests.  

We are switching from paper accession forms to an online ordering system which will expedite the sample testing process.

If you don’t have an online account, please go to to enroll (it takes 1-2 minutes). Once approved, you’ll receive an email with a link to submit your order, or you can go directly to

This 4-step submission process will take you through a series of questions to ensure all required information is provided, so when your package arrives, samples are moved quickly to their testing section(s). Additionally, if you have multiple animals to test, there is an upload function which will save time.

Thereafter, you may log in at any time to view the status of your order, ensure it was received, and view/print results.

Please place the packing slip in a separate zip lock bag, ensuring it does not get contaminated with specimen fluids or formalin.


EDTA-whole blood (Molecular Diagnostics & Toxicology)

Purple Top Tubes:  EDTA-whole blood (Molecular Diagnostics & Toxicology)

Blue top-Trace Element Serum and Green top-Heparinized whole blood

Blue Top: Trace Element Serum (Toxicology), Green Top: Heparinized whole blood (Molecular Diagnostics & Toxicology)

Red Top Tubes with no additives (Serology & Toxicology)

Red Top Tubes: No Additives (Serology & Toxicology)

Serum Separator Tubes with no additives

Red & Yellow Top Tubes:  Serum Separator Tubes with no additives (Serology & Toxicology)


- Samples for serology tests performed on serum must be collected in tubes with no additives, such as red top tubes or serum separator tubes. Tubes with clot activator are also acceptable. Serum may be harvested by centrifugation prior to submission. Recommended if there is a risk that the samples may freeze in transit. (Serology)

- Tests performed on plasma require blood collected in tubes containing an anti-coagulant – usually a green top (heparin) or purple top (EDTA). Check the specific test listing for tube requirements. (Serology)

- Plasma and serum cannot be used interchangeably; please refer to the test for specific instructions to ensure submittal of the correct sample. (Serology)

- For PCR testing four milliliters of blood is sufficient using a purple top EDTA tube. Store EDTA whole blood in refrigerator until shipping. Ship EDTA whole blood on sufficient ice gel packs (not ice cubes) in an insulated container. ( Molecular Diagnostics)

- It is not necessary to individually wrap each tube. The best method is to use padded pouches designed for blood tubes. If you do not have access to these, we recommend using a thick rubber band and grouping your tubes tightly into groups of 7-10 tubes. If you alternate the direction of the tubes they will stay tightly packed. Pack the tubes in a plastic zip lock style bag with absorbent material in with the tubes, and put another plastic zip lock style bag around the first. Pack the tubes with protective material (bubble wrap/newspaper), so the box can be dropped from a four foot height without breaking any tubes. Blood samples need to be protected from temperature extremes, as over heating or freezing may adversely affect the samples and render them untestable. We recommend the use of insulated containers, and the use of ice gel packs (not ice cubes) during warm weather.

- Please refer to the Abortion Diagnostic Panels & testing General Submission Checklist.

- A carcass with little or no decomposition is one of the best diagnostic specimens. Carcasses intended for necropsy should be kept chilled, but not frozen, as freeze/thaw artifacts obscure gross and microscopic lesions. Necropsy submissions should be double-bagged and double-sealed in a plastic zip lock style bag, if at all possible, for biosecurity containment, and an exterior label identifying the submission should be attached to the outer aspect of the sealed bags. Large animals that cannot be bagged should be tagged with an identifying label. A complete case history including a full problem list and key historical information must be included on the accession form; this information is necessary for the pathologist to make appropriate biosecurity procedures, gross evaluation, and sampling. Do not drop entire small carcasses such as birds or rodents into formalin, since internal organs do not get fixed properly by this procedure. Necropsy fees are per animal, and histopathology is required.   A necropsy fee will be charged if a necropsy must be performed on a whole or partially fixed carcass or multiple organs.  A sample collection fee will be charged for sample collection from a single organ.

For further information on carcass submission, WADDL has a consulting pathologist on duty Monday-Friday 8am-5pm to answer any questions. Please call (509) 335-9696 and our office staff will connect you with a pathologist.

- Submit fresh samples of ear tissue approximately 1 cm x 1 cm (use 1/2 inch notching pliers, disinfect ear notching instruments/equipment between each sample, making sure to thoroughly rinse the disinfectant before collecting the next sample). For large herd sampling, contact the lab for information on sampling tubes and BAR codes, which makes collection easier and results in faster turn-around times. Alternatively, place ear notches individually in an empty plain 6 or 10 ml red-top tube (no additive or gel) or 5 ml Falcon tube. Store ear notch skin refrigerated until shipping, or freeze if storing for more than 48 hours before shipment. Ship on sufficient ice gel packs (not ice cubes) in an insulated container, with appropriate BVD ear notch form. (more information on BVD-PI Ear Notch Program)

- Fresh fecal samples should be submitted in a leak-proof container. Keep refrigerated after collection and cold during transport, using an ice gel pack (not ice cubes).  Greater than five grams (about ¼ cup) of feces is preferred.  Please label the containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Bacteriology/ Parasitology/Molecular Diagnostics)

  • Fish

-Please refer to our Aquatic Health webpage.

- For body fluid or other aspirated samples, the samples should be sterilely collected and the fluid should be placed in a sterile leak-proof tube (ex. Red top tube). Keep refrigerated after collection and cold during transport, using ice gel pack(s) and not ice cubes.  Label containers with animal, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Bacteriology)

    • Do not submit in syringes.
    • Do not submit swabs if you have fluid.

- Blood culture, CNS fluid, and joint fluid should be kept at room temperature and transported to the lab immediately.   Please contact the lab if this recommendation cannot be follow for case-by-case consultation. ( Bacteriology)

- Submit plucked hair from leading edge of lesion.  Place in an envelope or other sealed container. Maintain at room temperature post-collection and during transport. Label the containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Mycology)

- Helminths, adult or immature, should be placed in vials in 10% formalin and properly labeled. If formalin is not available, 70% isopropyl alcohol may be used. (Parasitology)

- External parasites should be submitted in 70% isopropyl alcohol. (Parasitology)

- Label the containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Parasitology)

-Samples should be submitted on slides with sealed cover slips or in containers in 10% glycerin alcohol, labeled with owner's name and animal number. The slide method is preferred since it is often difficult to recover parasites from containers or envelopes, etc. Label the containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Parasitology)

- Samples for bovine trichomoniasis use Biomed Diagnostics TF-transit tube or InPouch transport/culture system (available direct from Biomed Diagnostics (800) 964-6466 or from all major veterinary supply distributors). Trich tubes or pouches must be sent to WADDL by FEDEX or other 24-48 hour shipping method. Store sample at room temperature and ship without ice, if the sample will be received at the lab within 48 hours after collection. Or use method 2: Incubate samples at 37 degrees C for 24 hours before shipping and ship with sufficient ice packs, if the sample will be received at the lab after the 48 hour window (see details for method 2 on the Trichomoniasis Accession Form)( Molecular Diagnostics)

- Slides should be protected from moisture, formalin fumes and breakage.  Do not refrigerate air-dried slides as condensation can form and lyse cellular elements. Refer to our 'Histology Slide Preparation'.(Histology)

Swabs for Molecular Diagnostic testing (PCR) cannot be submitted in Port-a-cul tubes, or any other tube containing gel-like media.

- Swabs should be labeled with the identity of the source material and protected from formalin fumes.  See individual tests for specific source location (nasal, oropharyngeal, etc.) on our Web Search Tool . Swabs submitted in media containing agarose will not be tested. For best results, swabs should be synthetic. Swabs submitted with a wooden shaft or cotton tip will include a disclaimer on the results. (Molecular Diagnostic)

- Tissue or fluid specimens are preferred for bacterial culture, and if swabs are the only practical sample, the Port-a-Cul system is preferred. (Bacteriology)

- Swabs used for bacterial culture should be place in a bacterial transport media designed to maintain bacterial viability. Careful collection to avoid contamination is essential. Keep refrigerated after collection and cold during transport, using an ice gel pack (not ice cubes).  To increase sample size, multiples swabs may used. Label the containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Bacteriology)

- Dry swabs are not appropriate for bacterial culture, and will be rejected. (Bacteriology)

  • Fresh Tissue:

- For PCR testing, see individual tests on our Web Search Tool for specific tissue requirement (spleen, lung, etc.). Store collected tissues frozen until shipping. Ship on sufficient ice gel packs in an insulated container. (Molecular Diagnostics)

- Tissues/biopsies should be sterilely collected and placed in a sterile, leak-proof container or bag (ex. Whirl-pak).Tissue samples should be submitted on ice gel packs (not cubed ice) in an insulated container with the tissues being triple bagged, each well-sealed.  Label containers with animal, or other identifying information, and sample type. (Bacteriology)

- Sample size and other factors may vary by test so please check the specific test for shipping instructions. (Histology)

  • Fixed Tissue:

- For PCR testing, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues (blocks) can be shipped at room temperature. Blocks will be returned to the client after testing is finalized. In lieu of blocks, two tubes containing five 10 micron scrolls can be sent.  (Molecular Diagnostics)

- Fixed tissue samples submitted for histopathology should be representative of the lesion (if noted) and the adjacent normal tissue. The sample (s) should be submitted in 10% buffered neutral formalin, and the volume ratio of formalin to sample should be at least 10 parts formalin to one part tissue. Bone samples or samples larger than 10 cm diameter will need additional sampling, special processing, and time prior to histological evaluation. Gastrointestinal samples should be gently flushed with formalin prior to submission in fresh formalin. Samples should be in a wide mouth, break-resistant (not glass), leak proof container. For necropsies, samples should be collected and submitted both fixed in formalin and fresh, unfixed. (Histology)

You can consult with our toxicologist Dr. Patricia Talcott at (509)-335-0807, to facilitate the selection of the appropriate test(s).

You may also refer to our toxicology website to survey for the specific tests that you want run.

- Samples should be sterilely collected by cystocentesis, if possible, placed in a sterile, leak-proof container (ex. Red top tube) and sent with ice gel packs (not ice cubes) to decrease cell deterioration and bacterial overgrowth. Do not submit in a syringe. Greater than 1 ml urine preferred. Label containers with animal name, or other identifying information, and the sample type. (Bacteriology)

Shipping Methods- Pullman

WADDL offers our clients discounted shipping through UPS.   Clients can ship Next Day Air for $15.00 or ground for $7.00 (recommended for Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana clients).  When submitting a case online, the option to use our discounted shipping will appear at the end of your order.  If selected, a shipping label from you to us will be created noting the order number.   Attach the shipping label to your package and drop it off at your nearest UPS drop off point (

The shipping cost is added to your invoice along with the testing costs. 

Submitting Samples from Canada

For our Canadian clients, there has been an update on how to ship samples across the border. This policy came into effect on April 15, 2019. In addition to having a permit with your shipment, a Statement of Contents is now also required. Please see the two links below  from the USDA website with guidelines on how to successfully ship a package across the border. 

Organisms and Vectors Guidance & Permitting
Guidelines: Animal Products That Do Not Require An Import Permit


Submitting in Summer Time

Please consider the following precautions for shipping temperature sensitive samples to WADDL during the summer months.

  • Choose next day air or standard overnight
  • Use an insulated shipping container with multiple frozen gel ice packs
  • To avoid freezing, please ensure samples are not in direct contact with gel ice packs
  • Place samples in a separate leak proof bag or container
  • Place paper forms and checks in a separate zip-closure bag

For further questions about sample submission, feel free to contact our office at (509)335-9696 in Pullman.


Avian Health & Food Safety Lab

For bird samples, refer to our AFHSL sample submission for birds

- For AHFSL’s serology tests, serum is preferred, but whole blood can be sent in:

  1. Red top (preferred) – No Coagulant
  2. Tiger top – Serum Separator

For AHFSL swab samples

  • Molecular tests:  We recommend that swab samples be sent in tubes containing BHI (Brain Hear Infusion) media.
  • Bacteriology cultures:  We recommend that swabs be sent in culturette tubes.


Shipping Methods - Puyallup

We receive deliveries from Fed Ex, UPS, and the US Postal Service. UPS and USPS deliver Monday through Friday and FedEx delivers Monday through Saturday.  Whichever shipping method is used, be sure to get a tracking number so that you can monitor the status and check for any delays.

Ensure that the samples are double or even triple bagged and leak proof.  Shipping services may stop shipment if the container begins to leak. 

Our shipping address can be found on the top of the AHFSL Accession Form.  Place the completed accession form in its own zip lock style bag separate from the samples.

For further questions about sample submission, feel free to contact our office at (253)445-4537 in Puyallup.

Page revised June 2019