Phoenix Lab offers necropsy service for companion animal, zoo species, avian, exotics/fish, some laboratory animal species, and domestic animals that are 250lbs or less. This includes fetal examinations, neonates, as well as adult animals. All species are welcome, with the exception of primates.
Please note that due to the limitations of our facility and the equipment available to us, we cannot perform necropsies on animals larger than 250lbs or on primates.
When should I request a necropsy?
There are several situations in which a necropsy is useful. These can include:
- Necropsy of aborted fetuses in breeding animals, especially large animals
- Spontaneous death of unknown cause in all species
- Research animals
- Cases of public interest, such as wildlife or zoo species
- Cases where litigation is likely, such as prolonged hospitalization or unexpected post-surgical death
- Cases where more information about cause of death can provide better prognosis for future patients
Types of Necropsy
Phoenix Lab offers two options within our necropsy service. One is a “gross only” exam. This examination incurs a lesser fee than a “full necropsy,” and is recommended for cases of unexpected death, or in cases with a suspected disease condition where confirmation of cause of death is desired. This report will provide gross examination notes, and cause of death based on gross examination of the body.
A “full necropsy” report includes a gross exam, as well as histopathology of tissue set in the base price. Full necropsy is generally recommended in legal cases, cases in which confirmation of a condition is desired, high number losses in a population, or spontaneous death where the gross exam did not reveal a cause. In a full exam, all gross lesions will be reported and a full histologic examination/report will be included to specifically classify lesions (i.e., exact tumor type, exact suspected pathogen involvement, more precisely classify suspected conditions seen grossly, etc).
Fresh and frozen tissue sets are always collected at the time of gross examination for all examined animals, therefore if a “gross only” case does not provide a definitive cause of death, these cases can be turned into “full necropsy.” This decision can be made after the initial gross report is provided.
Requesting a Necropsy
To request a necropsy, as well as pricing information, please call the lab to speak to Client Services.
Upon receiving your call, we will arrange for transport.
Deceased animals are transported by our couriers (please confirm pick up with
customer service) or can be sent by commercial courier services directly to the
lab. Refrigeration prior to submission is preferred to freezing; however,
frozen bodies can be examined if there is a prolonged interval between death
and the decision for necropsy being made. Any clinical history or pertinent
information associated with the patient’s death should accompany the
submission. Please be sure to mention any known or suspected conditions when
submitting the history, as well as any symptoms noted prior to death.
At the time of request, we will also ask about care of remains. Phoenix Lab offers transport to the facility of choice for cremation (recommended), or return to the home clinic to arrange for burial.
If you have any questions regarding necropsy services, please feel free to contact the laboratory directly at 1-800-347-0043 and we will be happy to answer your questions.