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Zoologix canine and feline specimen shipping instructions

shipping instructions

Enclose a completed Zoologix submission form with every shipment.

Swab samples, fecal samples or toothbrush samples
Place each sample in a clean, new, labeled, sealed ziplock bag or plain tube. Samples in ziplock bags can be sent in an envelope.  Tubes, cups, toothbrushes or other samples thicker than 6mm (1/4") should be sent in a box, not an envelope, to prevent damage and avoid delays.

If multiple swab samples are required for one panel (eg throat + nasal + eye discharge swabs for a respiratory panel), place all the swabs from one animal for one panel together in one ziplock bag or tube. Label the bag or tube with the animal's name or ID, but the swabs inside need not be differentiated.

Ship swabs, toothbrush samples or fecal samples at normal room temperature the same day as collected if possible, to arrive at Zoologix within 3-4 days. If swabs or feces must be held for more than a few hours before shipping, refrigerate and ship within a few days, with cold packs. Don't expose samples to freezing or higher than normal room temperature in transit; when the weather is very warm please consider shipping by a more rapid method, and/or adding cold paks.

Most swab materials are acceptable; plain dry cotton- or synthetic-tip swabs are typical. Any shaft material is acceptable. The head of the swab should be coated with sample material to the extent possible, to the amount specified in the datasheet. We can sometimes test from less sample material, but too little sample material may result in decreased test sensitivity, so use the largest swab that will fit the sample source without harming the patient.

Fecal samples should be at least the volume indicated in the datasheet, but do not send excessive volumes per sample.

Blood and other liquid samples
Collect fresh whole blood samples in EDTA (purple top) tubes, seal, then immediately invert several times to thoroughly mix the blood with the preservative material in the tube. Avoid using heparin (green top) tubes if possible; we can test from heparinized blood but it is not ideal.

Collect other liquid samples such as lavage, serum or cerebrospinal fluid in plain tubes or similar clean, leakproof containers.

Refrigerate liquid samples if shipping will be delayed for more than a few hours after collection. Room temperature shipping is adequate unless there is a chance that samples will be in transit for more than ~24 hours or during very warm weather -- in those cases ship liquid samples with cold packs in an insulated shipping container to stay cold in transit.

Liquid samples should be shipped in a 3-dimensional package not subject to crushing in transit - not in an envelope.

Or if you prefer, blood and other liquid samples can be dried onto special Zoologix dry cards so they can be easily sent to Zoologix in an envelope, without refrigeration. Learn about ordering and using our dry cards here.

Fresh tissue should be shipped with cold paks in an insulated container to stay cold in transit.

Fixed or preserved tissue can be shipped at normal room temperature.

Frozen samples of any kind should be shipped so as to remain frozen until arrival at Zoologix - typically with dry ice in an insulated container. Follow the carrier's requirements for dry ice shipments.

PCR Paktm
Most clients use their own supplies and shipping materials for submitting samples. But for clients without access to swabs, ziplock bags and envelopes, Zoologix can instead provide PCR Paks for shipping of fecal or swab samples to us from within the United States. Each PCR Pak includes swabs (for fecal, nasal, tracheal, throat, conjunctival, genital, rectal or other swab samples), ziplock bags, a submission form, instructions, and a preaddressed, postage-paid envelope. Collect samples, complete the submission form and mail at any US Post Office. Avoid exposing samples to excessive heat or cold -- eg avoid leaving them in a mailbox in direct sunlight or freezing temperatures.

You may also send your own swabs to Zoologix in a PCR Pak envelope, but do not send liquids, tubes or bulky items in PCR Pak envelopes as they may be delayed or destroyed by the Post Office. Multiple samples can be sent in a single PCR Pak - just be sure to label the samples clearly and to indicate clearly on your submission form which sample is for which test or panel.

Mailed PCR Paks arrive at Zoologix in first class US Mail transit time, usually no more than ~3-4 business days.  But if you want faster, guaranteed, or trackable transit for your samples, you may prefer to send the PCR Pak via your courier (eg FedEx). The PCR Pak weighs less than 8 ounces and fits inside a standard courier envelope.

Email Zoologix to order your free PCR Pak. Whenever you send us a PCR Pak containing sample(s) to be tested, we will mail you back a replacement PCR Pak at no charge.

Sample labeling
Uniquely, clearly and permanently label each sample bag, tube, etc. with an ID of your choice. This ID will identify the sample in the Results Report. Write all IDs on your submission form too. Each ID will be handled as a separate sample. Clearly indicate the test(s) or panel(s) you are ordering for each sample.

Enclose all primary sample containers (tubes, bags, etc.) together inside a secondary leakproof ziplock bag or other leakproof container. Protect glass tubes from contact with each other and pack them so they do not jostle in transit. Enclose enough absorbent material (batting, paper toweling or similar) inside the secondary bag or container to fully absorb the total volume of all liquid samples should a catastrophic spill occur in transit. Use dunnage to prevent movement of contents. Label the outer carton per the carrier's requirements.

International shipping
In addition to the above options, we can provide DRY CARDS for international shipping of liquid samples like blood, cerebrospinal fluid or semen. A small amount of liquid sample is spotted on the card and dried per instructions printed on the back of each card. Dry card samples remain stable for months at room temperature, so handling requirements are less stringent, easing international sample shipping. Learn about ordering and using our dry cards here.

Shipping method
FedEx or other courier services often provide the best combination of reliability and cost. However, carrier selection is the client's decision and Zoologix receives shipments via all carriers.

Shipping-related costs
The shipper is responsible for any fees, customs duty, tax, fine or penalty related to the shipping of samples to Zoologix.

Receiving hours
Zoologix receives Monday through Friday. If you ship overnight, select standard mid-morning delivery - do not select early morning or afternoon delivery. If you ship on a Friday, designate Monday delivery, not weekend delivery. Phone or Email Zoologix for advice if you have a critical weekend requirement.

Your Zoologix Results Report
Your results will be transmitted, per your submission form instructions, upon completion of testing and verification of payment method. The Zoologix Results Report is a clear, concise, easy-to-read PDF report providing your test results in a format that both you and your veterinarian can use.

If you are not seeing your emailed Results Report in the expected timeframe, please check your spam folder and adjust your spam settings if necessary so future reports are not blocked.

Send all samples to:

Zoologix, Inc.
9811 Owensmouth Ave
Suite 4
Chatsworth CA 91311
Phone: 1-818-717-8880

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