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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. 
Please find Fecal Panel launch (pdf, 6MB)

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

  • Tritrichomonas foetus Culture 
    - cats; only experimental for dogs and other potential hosts

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.

  • A/Prof Damien Higgins ,Director, Veterinary Pathologist
  • Dr Derek Spielman, Deputy Director of VPDS (Veterinary Pathologist)
  • George Tsoukalas, Technical Manager (Lab Manager) VPDS

  • Dr Shannon Donahoe, Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist
  • Prof Jan Slapeta, Veterinary Parasitologist
  • Prof Jacqui Norris, Veterinary Microbiologist 
  • Dr Rachael Gray, Veterinary Clinical Pathologist
  • Prof Mark Krockenberger, Specialist Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist
  • Patricia Martin, Diagnostic Microbiologist/Cytologist 
  • Denise McDonell, Laboratory Diagnostician
  • Karen Barnes, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Andrew Fortis, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Christine Gotsis, Clinical Pathology (Technician)
  • Elaine Chew, Histopathology (Technician)
  • Maira Meggiolaro, Molecular Diagnostics (Technician)


Laboratory Fees (ex GST) 2019
   Haematology  $
70045  Full Blood Count (Retics when required)  53
70046  PCV & TPP billed as one test  21
70044 Fibrinogen - heat 20
70124  The FIRST test  21
70125  EACH Additional Test  12.5
70040 Bone marrow - Qualitative assessment 75
70041 Bone marrow - Quantitative assessment 127.5
70048 Bone Marrow - quantitative assessment plus histology 138
70002  First Test  21.5
70004  Each Additional Test  11
   Except for:   
70005 Ammonia - 1 Sample 39
70006 Ammonia Tolerance - 2 Samples 55
70007 Amylase 13
70011 Electrolytes Alone 23
70012 Electrolytes - Na, K+, Cl- 18
70014 Lipase 23
70016 Profile A Non Specific 78.5
70017 Profile B Alimentary 41
70021 Profile F Pre Anaesthesia 41
70054 Profile kidney 52
70138 Profile Renal 38.5
70144 Profile Liver 55
70153 Profile Cardiac 70
90147 Profile K (Koala) 56
70022 Spin off Sample 14
70024 Triglycerides 14
70120 AST 13
70121 GGTP 13
70148 Total T4 41
70149 Total T4 (add. test) 20
90013 Iron 13
90017 Globulin (panel) 33
70152 CRP 39
70163 CPL 51.5
70164 FPL 51.5
90148 SAAf 51.5
70112  Chemical & Microscopic  40
70113  Chemical only  17.5
70114  Microscopic only  32
70661  Feline Combination - (FBC/Profile A no Amy or LIP)  105
70662  Feline Combination Plus - FBC/Profile A no Amy or LIP + Urinalysis  131.5
70663  Canine Combination - (FBC/Profile A + Amy + LIP)  113
70664  Canine Combo Plus- (FBC/Profile A + Amy + LIP + Urinalysis)  138
70146  Health Profile  83.5
70147 FBC (Manual Validation) 32
70665  Urine C/S + Urinalysis  97
70666  UPC/Urinalysis  65.5
70129  Urine Protein/Creatinine Ratio  33.5
90146  Koala Health Profile  77.5
70059  Biopsy report - first specimen/site 117
70134  Biopsy report - additional specimen/site 25
70058  Histology Preparation - one specimen/site 30
90060  PM - Histo only (externally performed PM) 1-6 tissues 204
70656  PM histology - additional tissue samples 19
90059  Biopsy - no report 54
70135  Second Opinion - Slide Preparation 56
90135  Biopsy Report - Second Opinion 55
70667  Special stains - non-silver 30
70668  Special stains - silver 30
90660  PCR slide cutting 30
90661  Oversize slide 30
70136  IHC - FIP confirmation test 131.5
70145  IHC - CD3/CD79a panel 170
70401  IHC - First Block/Antibody with report 131.5
70402  IHC - IHC no report or Additional Antibody/block 90
70100  PM - Gross/Histo - Birds  124
70101  PM - Gross/histo - Lab Animals  167
70102  PM - Gross/Histo - Small animals (< 10kg)  493
70103  PM - Gross/Histo - Large Animals (>10kg)  602
70106  PM - Gross/Histo Additional Spinal Cord  220
70070 Culture & Sensitivity 77.5
70069 Culture & Sensitivity (tissue) 87.5
90067 C & S 2 Similar sites Tissue (external) 116
70067 Culture & Sensitivity of two similar sites 107.5
90076 Gram Stain 37.5
70060 BactT Alert C&S Blood - without Urine 77.5
70061 C&S Blood & Urine - Client Media 105
70068 Blood Culture & sensitivity in Oxoid 1st with urine 127.5
70080 Oxoid Blood Culture  - Each subsequent Oxoid sample 21.5
70157 Oxoid Blood C/S- without Urine 101
70083 Urine Culture & Sensitivity 77.5
70075 Fungal Culture - Non-dermatophyte 72.5
70076 Fungal culture - Dermatophyte 59.5
70077 LCAT 95.5
70150 Cryptococcal Serology - Lateral Flow 41.5
70132 Fungal identification 90
70133 Fungal sensitivity 104.5
70501 Mycobacteria or Nocardia culture & sensitivity 131.5
70033 FNA/Smear - First Site 70
70031 FNA/Smear - Second Site 40
70034 FNA/Smear - Third + Subsequent Sites 21.5
70659 FNA/Smear - More Than 10 Slides From Same Site 37
70032 Fluid Analysis: cytology, TP, all fluids 83.5
70655 CSF Analysis 98.5
70140 IF - FIP + others 95.5
   Molecular diagnostics    
70156 qPCR-Faeces 95.5
92013 qPCR 1-2 Targets 65
92014 qPCR Add. target 41
92015 qPCR 3-7 targets 77.5
92016 qPCR > 7 targets 95.5
92009 Avian Panel qPCR 77.5
92003 Bacterial ID - PCR 63
92004 Fungal ID - PCR 63
92006 DNA Extraction (/Sample) 24
92012 Sequencing 21
70090 Nematodes, Coccidia, (Float or eggs/gram) 38.5
70091 Lungworm (Baermann) 48.5
70092 Faecal Culture & identification 72
70095 Identification - from 42.5
70096 Skin-Digest 57
70097 Total worm count or Digest. 88.5
90090 Sedimentation 38
90140 Toxo IgG/IgM and Neospora IgG 95.5
70654 Toxo or Neo (single test) 59.5

George Tsoukalas

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