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Submitting for Necropsy

The loss of any animal is lamentable; all are unique and valuable whether their role is companionship, performance or economic. The goal of the necropsy section is to identify the cause of death and processes that contributed to mortality. The knowledge gained helps to provide closure for the owners of companion animals, mitigate or forestall production limiting diseases in livestock, identify new or emerging disease conditions, collect evidence for potential prosecution in animal abuse cases and provide feedback to clinicians.

The service is conducted by faculty pathologists alongside graduate veterinarian anatomic pathology residents and senior veterinary students. Participation in necropsy is a fundamental, foundational experience for training the next generation of biomedical scientists and veterinary practitioners.

The necropsy service accepts whole animal specimens, including cohorts from production settings. Veterinarians may select and submit fresh portions of carcasses, such as heads or thoracic viscera, and combinations of fixed and fresh specimens as well as other samples, e.g. whole blood, serum, effusions, feed materials, gastrointestinal tract, etc. These samples are selected for specific diagnostic purposes, e.g. identification of specific neurologic disease conditions, cardiac dissection, or diarrhea, respiratory or abortion diagnostic screens.

Important information

  • Whole animals or fresh specimens should be cooled, but not frozen, promptly after death or as soon as possible after field dissection and transported to the lab promptly with a sufficient number of cold paks to prevent further spoilage.

  • Cytology specimens should not be included in packages containing fixed tissues.

  • All submissions must be accompanied by completed necropsy submission forms.

Please call (970) 297-1281 for questions regarding necropsy examination or diagnostic investigation for field necropsy specimens.


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Contact Us:

Fort Collins Diagnostic Laboratory

FedEx/UPS Shipping Address (physical address):
2450 Gillette Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80526

USPS Mailing Address:
200 West Lake Street
1644 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1644

(970) 297-1281

(970) 297-0320

Rocky Ford Diagnostic Laboratory

27847 Road 21
Rocky Ford, CO 81067​

Phone: (719) 254-6382
Fax: (719) 254-6055​​

Western Slope Diagnostic Laboratory
3164 B 1/2 Road
Western Slope, CO 81503

Phone: (970) 243-0673
Fax: (970) 242-0003​​​​​​​​​​​​