Animal Health Diagnostic Center

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Guide to Submissions

Normal Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturdays (limited service) 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

2016 & 2017 Holiday Schedule and Lab Hours

Submission Guidelines

Additional Resources


Sample Submission Requirements

Please note: Samples must be submitted through a licensed veterinarian. Animal owners may not submit samples directly to the AHDC except in rare cases which require prior approval and arrangement with the AHDC. International submissions must be accompanied by payment in U.S. funds via credit card or International Money Order.

General Submission Form

Please fill submissions forms out completely using your assigned account number. Use black ink if possible and write legibly. Animal identification should be the same on the sample as it is on the form.

Written histories should be included on the form, if known, and must be included in order for testing to qualify for coverage under the New York State contract. Please also include the owner’s full address including the state in which the animal(s) lives; this is especially important for states bordering New York to assist us in determining contract status. The contract applies only to New York State food and fiber animals and horses. See NYS Contract Submission Form and NYS Contract Case Pricing.

Samples received for testing at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center become the property of the AHDC. The submitting veterinarian is responsible for the requested tests and their associated fees for each submission.

Regulatory Forms

Regulatory testing may require the use of official state forms. Animals originating in New York State must be tested using official forms for EIA (Coggins) and for Brucellosis testing not associated with abortion problems. For other states, official forms are required for EIAs, but not for Brucellosis.

Official forms are not available through our laboratory; they must be ordered through the state offices in Albany at the following address. These forms must be signed by the submitting accredited veterinarian or the test results cannot be reported. Any samples for regulatory testing that originate from states outside of New York must be accompanied by official state forms provided by those states.

If both regulatory and non-regulatory tests are requested on the same case, you are required to fill out both a regulatory form and a general submission form.

Official forms for regulatory testing in New York State can be ordered at the following address. Please do not send blood samples to the Albany address!

Mail or fax the completed Category 2 Accredited Veterinarian's Supply Request form to:

Attn: Mary Beth Fitzgerald (Regulatory form request)
Div of Animal Industry/NYS Dept Ag & Mkts
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
Fax: 518-485-0839

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Sample Submissions

Samples submitted to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center must be accompanied by a fully completed General Submission form. A written record of the known history and the date samples were taken are both required information. Take care to enter exactly the same animal names/numbers on the samples as appear on the form and package them in order if at all possible. Both the owner's and animal's names must be written on the samples.

Please consider that chances for errors in processing your samples are minimized by proper labeling.

The following guidelines must be followed when submitting blood samples from herds (see also Blood Collection Guide):

  1. Each tube must be clearly labeled and numbered in consecutive order with the same numbers entered in the same order on the submission form. Do not label the rubber stoppers.
  2. Label the first and last tubes with the owner's name.
  3. The tubes must be placed in the shipping container in the same numerical order as entered on the form. Use partitioned boxes to keep the samples in order.

If these guidelines are not followed, retesting at the submitter’s expense may be necessary on some or all animals. Additional processing fees may be incurred if extra time is needed to process samples. It is especially important to submit herd samples labeled and in proper order to avoid delays in processing which will delay the reporting of results.

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Special Submission Requirements for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) Testing

All test kits that are used for testing of horses for infection by equine infectious anemia (EIA) virus must be approved by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). In the licensing process, a manufacturer must submit test performance data to CVB as part of the approval process. Data that is submitted includes the type of samples that were used to achieve the level of test performance reported. This information defines how the test can be used. For example, the test kit information will specify whether for a serological test one can use serum or plasma. If the test kit specifies “serum”, then under QA standards, the test is not valid if plasma is used. The definition of what is an “acceptable” sample is a key component of the test kit as approved.

For EIA testing, both AGID and ELISA, acceptable specimen is defined by the kit. For EIA ELISA testing the kit states: “Specimens may be stored at 2 - 7C for up to twenty one days. If longer storage is desired, store at -20C (-4F)”. The simple interpretation of this statement is that the specimen must be tested within 21 days of sampling if it is maintained at 2 - 7C (refrigerated) during this period. This does not mean that samples can be shipped on day 21 and meet the kit requirements.

For EIA AGID testing the kit states: “Specimens may be stored at 2 - 7C for up to twenty eight days. If longer storage is desired, store at -20C (-4F)”. In the past, many labs have ignored this type of restriction on the acceptability of the specimens. However, all laboratories certified by the USDA to perform EIA testing, public and private, are required to follow kit manufacturer’s instructions and the issue of the age of the specimen for EIA testing can no longer be ignored. Laboratories are responsible for enforcing the sample requirements and the failure to adhere to the kit instructions can be the basis for losing their USDA license for performing EIA tests.

"Acceptable” sample requirements have not been strictly defined in the past, but failure to adhere to the specimen requirements in the future may result in test delays as “expired” samples will not be tested. To insure that testing is not delayed, the best procedure is to remove the serum from the clot tube and freeze the serum. There is no time limit on testing of frozen serum. Frozen serum should be shipped on ice packs overnight so that the sample arrives frozen. A statement attesting to the proper handling of the samples signed by the submitting veterinarian would also be advisable should the sample thaw during transit.

Otherwise the laboratory has no way of knowing if the sample was handled properly when the sampling date exceeds the day limit.

If there are questions as to the acceptability of a specimen, please contact the AHDC before submitting the specimen. Unacceptable specimens can not be returned to the submitter. In addition, EIA test paperwork for all New York State horses tested at any laboratory may be reviewed by Ag & Markets staff to determine the time elapsed between when the sample was taken and when it was tested.

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Submission Requirements for Abortions

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center, in conjunction with the Departments of Pathology and Clinical Sciences, provides Abortion Kits to facilitate the proper collection, submission, and testing of samples when the fetus and placenta cannot be delivered directly to a necropsy service. A Ruminant Abortion Kit and an Equine Abortion Kit are available. Kits are available from our shipping department; to order, please call (607) 253 - 3935. For general recommendations on tissue collection instructions and submission requirements, see Appendix E.

When submitting tissues for abortion testing without the use of a kit, be sure to include a thorough history with as much information as possible on the submission form. Tissues should be sent properly prepared using 10% buffered formalin for histopathology testing and freezer packs to keep fresh tissues and serum and whole blood chilled. Samples should be sent overnight by courier service to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

For owners who are New York State residents, Animal Health Diagnostic Center ancillary test charges covered by the NYS contract will be performed at no additional charge. For additional information or for non-New York State owners, please see Appendix E.

Submission Guidelines for Individual Tests

Each test has a specific set of requirements for sample type and container. This information is included in the columns in our test listings as well as in the comment field, which may also refer you to additional information in the Appendix.

Final Note on Submissions

Remember, samples must be submitted through a veterinarian. It is our policy not to allow animal owners to submit samples directly to the AHDC. It is very important when submitting samples to the AHDC that test requests be as specific as possible for each sample submitted and that the submission be accompanied by a brief history to aid us in confirming that appropriate testing is being done. Procedures and requirements spelled out in the Test & Fee Schedule must be adhered to to ensure the accuracy of testing performed, results reported, and amounts billed. Samples received for testing at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center become the property of the AHDC. The submitting veterinarian is responsible for the requested tests and their associated fees for each submission.

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Schedule for Receipt of Samples at the Diagnostic Center

The AHDC's normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Limited services are provided on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. All samples designated for Saturday delivery will be received, opened, and prepared for delivery to the laboratories, but testing is not guaranteed until the following work-week. The Bacteriology and Clinical Pathology labs are open on Saturday mornings and do offer some testing services during that time.

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