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Sampling - requests

For the purpose of permanent quality control, we would like to emphasise the quality of pre-analysis, which is the part that takes place before the laboratory can start the requested tests. The pre-analytical phase consists of patient preparation, sample collection, identification and storage, transport, sample reception, sample registration and sample preparation in the laboratory. A large part of this therefore takes place in the veterinary practice. We would therefore like to inform you about correct sample collection, storage and identification.

Collection and storage

After loggin in, you can find written guidelines on collection and storage for each type of sample.
  • Blood sampling
  • Urine
  • Faeces
  • Swabs
  • Hemoculture
  • Fluids
Provide the correct sample type for each analysis requested. Some analysis numbers are printed in a colour on the application form, each colour matching a sample type.
  • Purple: EDTA
  • Red: serum
  • Light blue: citrate
  • Grey: glucose
  • Green: heparin
In addition, on the application form there is a code after each analysis that refers to the correct sample type. You can find the map at the bottom of the application form.
  • S: serum
  • E: EDTA
  • G: glucose
  • H: heparin
  • E*: collect EDTA blood, spin the sample in a centrifuge, freeze plasma
  • ED: collect EDTA blood, freeze whole tube
  • S*: collect blood in a serum tube, spin the sample in a centrifuge, freeze serum
  • DNAw: Multicollect swab
  • eSW: e-Swab
  • F: faeces
  • U: urine
  • HK: hemoculture bottles
  • X: special sample (contact the laboratory)
If you submit a request via Lab Online, check the analyses you need. On the right-hand side of the same screen you will find the sample type for each analysis ticked.

Identification routine samples

After a correct collection, it is essential that each sample is correctly and unambiguously identified by you. You can use the blue barcode stickers for this purpose. The barcode sticker with black border is for human samples, please do not use it. Use the same barcode on your samples as on your application, this way the samples are linked to the application. The samples from one patient will therefore all have the same barcode. You do not need to stick a barcode on the sample bag.
Each sample is accompanied by an application form, which is submitted on paper or online. For both, we need the following information:
  • Information veterinarian: if you only submit applications on paper, ask for our personalised forms. The name of your practice is mentioned at the bottom of these forms.
  • Please clearly note all patient information:
    • Owner details: last name, first name, address, telephone number, VAT number
    • Animal details: do not forget to indicate the species, without species you will not have specific reference values with your result. Also fill in name, sex and date of birth.
    • Have the owner sign the form as proof that they agree with the costs of the laboratory research.
Tick profile and/or analyses.

Identification of pathology and cytology

For pathology samples, there are some additional specific guidelines:
  • Accurate and full completion of clinical data, supplemented by any specific questions. Indicate clearly whether the lesion was sent in its entirety.
  • Mention of previous samples taken from the same patient is essential in order to place a new examination in the context of a specific medical history.
  • If multiple tissues are submitted, use different containers and clearly identify or orient using sutures, ink, etc.
Process your samples correctly. Here are a few tips:
  • Tissue blocks:
    • Send in the entire lesion, without cutting it.
    • If multiple lesions are removed during a sample collection, send all of them. No extra costs will be charged.
    • Send tissue in Formol jar (not a glass jar!) and make sure the container is large enough for this and the tissue is completely submerged. If this is not possible, pack the tissue in a plastic bag and keep it on ice or in the refrigerator.
  • Cytology slides:
    • Use slides with matte edges
    • Write the patient's name and the location of the sample collection on the matte edge at the top.
    • Send these in slide mailers that you can obtain from us at the lab.
    • An additional request for immunostaining (B/T cell differentiation etc.) on cytology is only possible if sufficient slides are provided. At least 3 uncoloured slides for lymph node samples, at least 5 uncoloured slides for spleen or liver samples. Once the routine staining for cytology evaluation has been conducted, immunostaining is no longer possible on the same slide.
  • Fluids: dispatch fluids in one or more EDTA tubes. Swabs are NOT suitable.

Additional tests and sample storage

  • Serum samples: 7 days at 14°C
  • EDTA tubes: 4 days at 4°C
  • Citrate tubes: 1 day at room temperature
  • Glucose tubes: 1 day at 4°C
  • Blood samples and sera for toxicological evaluation by elemental analysis, GC & GC-MS: 5 weeks at 4°C
  • Blood samples and sera for occupational health and toxicological tests by HPLC: 6 weeks at -20°C
  • Samples for microbiology: 1 week at 4°C
  • Urines for occupational health and toxicological tests: 6 weeks at 4°C
  • Paraffin blocks (histology): 15 years at room temperature
  • Swabs (cytology): 10 working days at 4°C
  • Slides (cytology): 15 years at room temperature