The University of Kentucky, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UKVDL) performs diagnostic, regulatory, and surveillance testing on animals. Diagnostic specimens can be dropped off at the laboratory or shipped via the major delivery companies (USPS, FedEx, or UPS). All specimens submitted for testing must be accompanied by a completed Accession Sheet, including animal ID, history, information about the sample and signed by a referring veterinarian; or for regulatory testing, a completed regulatory form.
Once submissions are received by the lab, ownership of samples becomes the laboratory's, unless prior arrangements have been made. Submitting samples, specimens, or animals to the UKVDL implies adherence to policies and procedures of the UKVDL. For questions please contact the Diagnostic Services Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Maples or phone: 859-257-7112.
Specimens submitted for testing must have a referring veterinarian listed on the accession sheet. Once the testing is completed, the results will only be released to the ordering veterinarian or designee.
Fees may change without prior notice. Please refer to the current fee schedule for fees and specimen requirements.
Submission Procedures for shipping specimens
Proper labeling of specimens and packaging for transport to the lab in an appropriate manner will facilitate accurate and timely testing results. Diagnostic specimens should be packaged, labeled, and shipped in accordance with federal DOT and IATA regulations. The following information is provided to serve as guidelines for trained shippers. Note: it is the responsibility of the shipper to complete the required training. The AVMA has a packing and shipping training program. (Click Here for additional information)
We recommend that specimens sent to the laboratory have a maximum of 48 hours total transit time. For this reason, we recommend that you do not ship on Fridays or before long weekends/holidays. Proper packaging will prevent contamination of transport vehicles and prevent public health hazards. Compliance in packaging and labeling of diagnostic specimens is the responsibility of the shipper. The shipper assumes total responsibility for complying with all applicable laws and regulations regarding the shipment of Dangerous Goods. Failure to adhere to shipping guidelines can result in fines to the shipper. In addition to these fines, the laboratory may assess an additional handling fee for specimens that were not packaged properly and have leaked.
Shipping specimens to UK VDL
Packaging: Most of the specimens submitted to the laboratory for testing are not expected to contain an infectious agent and can be sent in a package labeled “exempt animal specimen”. These samples are considered to be non-regulated. The shipping container must be of suitable strength to withstand shipping, storage and handling. Packing consists of 3 individual components (triple pack).
The primary container should be a watertight leakproof container with positive closure (ex: blood collection tubes, screw cap container). The primary container should be labeled with the animal ID and the collection date. The primary container should be wrapped in absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire contents should liquid leak out, and placed in a secondary leakproof packaging. Example of a secondary packing, leak proof container would be a plastic bag with a zip top. Note: If multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary packaging, they must be either individually wrapped or separated so as to prevent contact between them. An itemized list of contents is enclosed between the secondary and outer packaging, such as a regulatory form or a UK VDL Accession sheet. Do not use the accession form or regulatory form to wrap the specimens in; if there is any leakage, the form will be damaged. We recommend that you put the form in a waterproof bag as well. Place in an outer package such as corrugated fiberboard, wood, metal, or rigid plastic. Place an ice pack or gel pack to keep the specimen cool. To prevent leakage, do not use frozen water filled bags as ice packs, use commercial ice packs. The outer package must able to withstand a 4 foot drop test as outlined in IATA and DOT regulations.
Labeling: The outer packaging can be marked “exempt animal specimen”. Be sure to include your shipping address and contact number in the return address section of the mailing label.
Note: do not send in samples in syringes with needles attached. Remove all sharps from the boxes. Packages with sharps will be rejected, no testing performed, and a handling fee assessed. Please do not send in samples in gloves, OB sleeves, or leaky containers. A handling fee may be assessed!
Shipments containing 10% formalin
Recently the DOT determined that “formalin containing less than 10% formaldehyde does not meet the definition of a hazardous material. These specimens should be shipped as stated above.
Shipping regulated samples
Shipping regulated samples (category A or B), cultures, using dry ice, or quantities of liquid greater than 500 ml require additional packaging, labeling, lading bills and may also require additional special permits. Please contact the laboratory for additional information.
Shipping address for the UK VDL:
UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
1490 Bull Lea Road
Lexington, KY 40511
UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
P.O. Box 14125
Lexington, KY 40512-4215
Some helpful links with information on shipment of biological specimens are listed below:
In addition, more information on shipping can be found on individual websites that are listed below: