Rabies Specimen Submission Form
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Rabies Specimen Submission Form (PDF: 65KB/2 pages)
Instructions and Information
- Hand deliver specimens whenever possible; otherwise ship by a direct overnight delivery service. Specimens should not be shipped by mail -- even priority mail.
- Live bats will be accepted during normal business hours only. Hand deliver live bats and label containers: “Live Bat for Rabies Testing.” All other animals must be euthanized by a veterinarian prior to submission.
- For next business day results, specimens must be received at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) by 11:00 AM.
- The fee is $26.25 for rabies testing. Add 10% for out of state. All costs associated with euthanasia, specimen preparation, packing, shipping, and testing are the responsibility of the submitter.
- Small rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, gophers, etc.) and insectivores (moles and shrews) do not pose a risk for rabies in Minnesota. Please do not submit these species for rabies testing.
- Questions regarding specimen submission should be directed to the VDL at 612-625-8787
Specimens from suspect rabies animals should be delivered to:
- Business hours
(M-F, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus
1333 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
- Non-business hours and holidays
Veterinary Medical Center-Emergency Receiving
University of Minnesota-St Paul Campus
1365 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
*Live bats will not be accepted after business hours.
Notify personnel that it is a suspect rabies case
- Bilateral samples of brain stem, hippocampus, and cerebellum are required for rabies testing. If possible, submit the head of large animals and the entire body of small animals. When submitting only brain tissue, submit the entire brain.
- Do not fix the brain in chemical preservatives. Submit fresh tissue only.
- Refrigerate, do not freeze, specimens prior to shipping. If frozen, do not thaw. Samples that have been frozen may yield satisfactory results and should be submitted.
- Double bag specimens in heavy, leak-proof plastic bags, securely seal, and ship in a leak-proof container, preferably a Styrofoam box with a cardboard exterior.
- Include leak-proof freezer packs in the shipping container to keep specimen cold. Do not pack in wet or dry ice.
- Pack shipping container with paper or other absorbent material to ensure temperature stability and to absorb fluids in case of leakage.
- Complete this submission form, place in a plastic bag and attach securely to the outside of the specimen container.
- Label the exterior of the box “Veterinary Diagnostic Specimen.” or “Live Bat for Rabies Testing”.
- Animal remains will be processed using mass chemical cremation unless arrangements for private cremation are made by the client or the client’s veterinarian. Once the test result is known, animals testing negative for rabies may be released to a private cremation service. Animals testing positive for rabies will not be released for cremation due to the risk of human exposure. If the sample is untestable due to deterioration, remains may be released on a case by case basis.
Rabies test results are reported to the submitter of the specimen by fax or you may call the VDL at 612-625-8787 for results. Submitters of animals with positive test results will receive a follow-up phone call from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Physicians and veterinarians may obtain information on rabies, including human exposure, prophylaxis, and bite management from the Acute Disease Investigation and Control Section. (651-201-5414; 24-hour answering service)
Unusual circumstances should be discussed with the MDH Acute Disease Investigation and Control Section prior to submission of the animal for testing (651-201-5414).