Additional investigations

If samples are submitted to Abbey Veterinary Services, the histopathologist is willing to look at any additional tissues that are submitted. If any abnormal tissue is found during post-mortem examination, it can be included and sent with the rest of the samples.

Intestinal pathology

Due to autolysis, meaningful results can only be gained from intestinal tissue if it is really fresh, i.e within 1 hour of death. It is often helpful to submit samples from different areas of the gastrointestinal tract. They need to be labelled so the histopathologist knows which parts the samples came from.

PM samples including intestines

For best preservation, isolate the affected area of gut by tying off the whole piece of bowel. This allows the lumen of the gut to be injected with formol saline. Distend the bowel so that it keeps its form but is not under pressure. Remove and place in formol saline. Or open a length of gut and place it with the peritoneal aspect onto a wooden tongue depressor and fix. If need be, write in pencil on the wood prior to fixing the tissue onto it.

CNS tissue.

Collection of CNS tissue is time-consuming. It is very destructive to remove a section of spinal cord or the brain so the body cannot be returned to the owner.

The pathologists need the whole brain and/or a length of cord to work with. They need to know which part of the brain they are looking at so the tissue needs to retain its anatomical form. It needs to be properly fixed . It is unusual for random pieces of brain to be useful.Some pathologists remove the whole brain before fixation but it is easier to remove once it is fixed. It is possible to remove the back of the cranium and fill the cranial cavity with formol saline, while leaving the brain in situ. Sectioning the brain longitudinally through the sulcus allows the fixative to penetrate into deeper tissue. If this is too difficult, it is still possible to get some results if the head is skinned and the whole head is then be immersed in formol saline for a week before submission to the laboratory. Submitting the whole brain or head once fixed.