Microscopic image of a canine lymph node

Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services

Providing reliable and high quality diagnostics
We provide high quality services to the University, veterinary profession and research organisations. Our pathologists and highly skilled technical staff ensure a reliable and high quality service to our clients.


We provide high quality biopsy and necropsy services to the veterinary profession, servicing the University Veterinary Hospitals and large and small private practices.

We offer a service that entails a strong review process, with all specimens being reviewed by multiple pathologists, and a personalised interaction with the veterinarian. 

Our pathologists are readily available for comment on individual cases and can help veterinarians bring their clinical research to publication standard.

In addition, we offer a high quality reliable service to researchers in histopathological specimen processing, immunohistochemistry, and processing of unusual specimens.

Our highly skilled technical staff are available for consultation about unusual or difficult specimens.

Service to researchers

  • histopathological specimen processing 

  • immunohistochemistry

  • laboratory animal haematology

  • serum biochemistry

  • processing of unusual specimens

Sending tissue through the post:

  • Place tissue in 10% neutral buffered formalin (volume tissue to formalin 1:20) 
  • Tissue should preferably be fixed for 24 hours at a minimum. 
  • Remove most to all of the fixative. In a zip lock plastic bag, seal the tissue with moistened gauze(s). Double seal or triple seal the bag with the specimen, with another zip lock bag(s) to minimise leakage and then place into IATA compliant packaging.
  • DO NOT LET SAMPLES DRY OUT during transport. Label bag with specimen details. 
  • Send information sheet with sample details separately to specimen and in another bag to avoid leakage onto writing. 
  • Instead of zip lock bags, wide neck containers, leak proof and screw top, can be used instead. Minimize formalin and send with moistened gauze. Minimize the use of tape before putting the lid on as it acts as a conduit for formalin to leak out. Label container with specimen details and double seal the containers with zip lock bags. Send information sheet with patient details separately. 
  • If excess liquid /formalin is sent through the mail, it must be labelled as 10% NB Formalin under legislation with an MSDS. NO concentrated formalin (>10%) should be sent via mail.

The Clinical Pathology Lab is equipped to carry out diagnostic haematology, biochemistry, microbiology and cytology.

The lab predominantly services the UVTH-Sydney, running routine diagnostic tests on companion animals. 
Clinical Pathology is also in a position to offer research groups, from the University and external institutions, biochemistry and haematology on its state of the art analysers.

This service is available for lab animals and wildlife on request. 
For enquiries regarding specimen collection contact the Lab Manager.

The Molecular Diagnostics section performs pathogen detection using a wide range of sensitive molecular diagnostic methods, including:

  • highly sensitive and specific conventional and real-time PCRs; 
  • immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization for fresh and formalin-fixed tissues; 
  • immunofluoresence for detection of pathogens in body fluids, cytological preparations and fecal parasites; and 
  • 16s PCR and sequencing for identification of bacteria from cultures.   

Test development draws on the diverse expertise of our pathobiology research group, who not only have expertise in the laboratory setting, but have backgrounds in management of the species involved.

This ensures results are interpreted by leaders in the field, with a deep understanding of the test, the pathogen it is detecting, and its impact on animal management.  
Our greatest expertise lies in detection of pathogens associated with companion animal and wildlife species, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss development of new assays for support of animal management or research in these specialist areas. 

Real-time PCR Panel – Avian Pathogens brochure (pdf, 365KB)

Feline Infectious Peritonitis Diagnosis IFA and IHC tests (pdf, 302KB)

Real-time PCR Panel - Small Animal Faecal Pathogens (pdf, 180KB)

Available tests

Test Category Test Name
Immunofluorescence FCoV (FIPV) (cytospin/effusion)
FeLV (EDTA blood) FIV (EDTA blood)
Immunohistochemistry (FFPE tissue) Chlamydia
Feline Calicivirus
Feline Herpes Virus Toxoplasma*
Real-time PCR (swab/tissue) Chlamydia pecorum
Chlamydia pneumoniae
Chlamydia genus
PCR and sequencing* Bacterial ID 16s Fungal ID 18s
Serology (serum) Cryptococcus Ag LCAT
Cryptococcus Ag lateral flow ELISA
Faecal protozoal detection* Cryptosporidium, Giardia, T. fetus 
(culture and immunofluorescence)
T. fetus (culture)
Associated Profiles Koala Chlamydia PCR 
(ocular and urogenital swabs, C. pecorum and
Koala screening 
(Koala Chlamydial PCR, Cryptococcus Ag ELISA)
Koala Health Profile (FBC and biochemistry) 

Note: For tests marked *, contact lab before submission 

Section Head: Dr Damien Higgins

The Diagnostic Parasitology section is responsible for the detection and identification of external and internal parasites from a diverse animal hosts, these include pet, pocket, exotic as well domestic and wild animal species.

We receive variety of materials and specimens, including faecal samples, aspirates, skin scrapings, sticky tapes as well as presumed parasites for identification.

We use traditional processing methods as well as immunological assays for increased sensitivity and specificity. 
The laboratory’s responsibilities are processing and analysing of the received samples, and reporting results based on routine methods.

On demand, the laboratory develops new methods or we adopt existing methods based on the client requirements, under these circumstances we will conduct quality control to assure quality results.

Section head: Professor Jan Slapeta   

Routine tests:

  • Direct Smear (all animal species, a fresh specimen required)

  • Faecal Flotation (NaCl solution, other solutions on demand; all animal species) 

  • McMaster Faecal Egg Counts (all species)

  • Baermann test for lungworms (all animal species)

  • Sedimentation techniques (qualitative & quantitative; all animal species)

  • Direct Fluorescence Test for Cryptosporidium and Giradia 
    - all mammalian species; only experimental for birds, reptiles and fish

On demand tests 
On demand parasitological examinations and development usually include molecular methods such as PCR and immunodiagnostic tests.  
The laboratory is equipped to adopt and develop published methods or design new based on the needs of the clients.

Using these activities the laboratory participates in field investigations leading to better understanding of parasite epidemiology.

Turnaround time of routine test is usually 24 hours of sample receipt.

Turnaround time for ‘on demand’ diagnostics varies and is usually discussed with the client to meet their needs and capability of the laboratory.

  • Associate Professor Damien Higgins, Director, Veterinary Pathologist
  • Ignacia Meza, Technical Manager (Lab Manager) VPDS
  • Professor Mark Krockenberger Specialist Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist
  • Luisa Monteiro de Miranda, Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist
  • Dr Shannon Donahoe, Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist
  • Profesor  Jan Slapeta, Veterinary Parasitologist
  • Professor Jacqui Norris, Veterinary Microbiologist 
  • Dr Rachael Gray, Veterinary Clinical Pathologist
  • Michelle Patpat, Diagnostic Microbiologist
  • Karen Barnes, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Andrew Fortis, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Christine Black, Clinical Pathology (Technician)
  • Elaine Chew, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Maira Meggiolaro, Molecular Diagnostics (Technician)

Ignacia Meza

Laboratory Manager
  • Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Services Sydney School of Veterinary Science B14 - McMaster Building, Room 213-220 The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia