Please be aware of the following packaging requirements for sending samples to our laboratory:

CEM/CERVICAL SWABS – Samples should be taken into Amies transport medium. These should be packaged in cotton wool or bubble wrap (or similar) and sealed in a plastic bag, with an ice pack. Padded envelopes/Jiffy bags are preferable, although plastic  postage bags will suffice. Swabs MUST be sent by 1pm special delivery, as they must be put up in our laboratory within 48 hours of being taken. If cytology is required, it must be requested on the initial sample submission form, to allow for accurate results.

BLOOD SAMPLES – Blood for analysis should be submitted in the following vacutainers – 1 EDTA tube (PURPLE), 1 lithium heparin tube (GREEN) and 1 plain tube (RED), although an additional red tube should be submitted if an IAP is required. If all tubes are not present this can cause problems with the analysis, and affect the accuracy of results.

Please note: samples that only require muscle enzyme testing (AST & CPK) for suspect cases of tying up can just be submitted in a single plain (RED) tube.

TRACHEAL WASHES – tracheal washes should be submitted in 1 EDTA (PURPLE) and 1 plain (RED) tube. This allows us to perform both cytology and bacteriology on the sample, therefore it is important both tubes are submitted.

FOAL IGG – IgG tests for foals should ideally be submitted in a 10mL lithium heparin (GREEN) tube, although two smaller 4mL green tubes can be submitted instead if these are not available. This allows enough plasma for both the IgG and QIgG tests if required.

WORM EGG COUNTS samples should be submitted in a sealed pot or plastic bag (resealable food bags are ideal), with the name of the horse and owner clearly written on the bag or on a sticker in permanent marker.


Samples of skin or hair, for ringworm isolation or otherwise, should be submitted in a sealed pot or blood tube, clearly labelled with the horse’s name and owner. This is especially important if mites or lice are suspected, as samples left unsealed may obviously run the risk of having the parasites escape the container if not properly closed. Samples should contain plucked hairs as well as debris scraped from the skin to provide an accurate interpretation.

Please note: ringworm cultures are now held for 4 days before a definitive negative result is recorded. Direct microscopy is still available on the day of initial analysis.


All samples are fine to be posted by first class post Monday to Thursday, except the aforementioned breeding/sales swabs which must be sent by 1pm special delivery. ANY samples being sent on a Friday for Saturday analysis must be sent by 9am special Saturday delivery. This ensures that your samples will arrive in our laboratory by 9am on Saturday morning, which allows the team plenty of time to complete the analysis before the lab closes at 10am. Samples sent by 1pm special delivery unfortunately cannot be guaranteed to reach the lab before 10am, and therefore may not be
processed until Monday morning.

Click here for our Submission Form.