PADLS Test Request Forms
The following forms are available in PDF format. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.
- Avian Sample Submission Form
- Avian Supplemental Sample Identification Form
- Avian Influenza Submission Form
- CEM Submission Form
- CWD Submission Form
- CWD Submission Form - Hunter Submitted
- Dog and Cat Autopsy Form
- General Submission Form
- Electronic Specimen Submission Form
- WNV Submission Form
- FAQ CWD info for deer hunters
Labeling and Packaging of Samples
All submissions require:
- Owner's name and address with business name if applicable
- Veterinarian's name, address, phone and fax numbers.
- Animal identification
- Type of sample submitted
- Test(s) requested
Packaging and Shipping
Specimens are delivered to PADLS laboratories via private courier, owner/veterinarian drop-off, US Postal Service, and most major delivery companies. Please contact your chosen shipper directly for proper packaging details. Some general packaging and shipping guidelines are listed below.
- Overnight trackable methods of shipment are recommended for perishable samples. Label outside of box “perishable”. Include ice packs (do not use ice) being sure that chilled samples are not in direct contact with the ice packs as it could damage the specimen. Place absorbent material in between samples.
- Ship specimens in two layers of appropriate leak-proof containers. When including fluids (including formalin) be sure lid is sealed. Double bag all specimens.
- Include packing material adequate to cushion the containers and absorb all fluids in the event of leakage or breakage.
- Label each specimen with the owner’s name, and the animal’s identification.
- Do not wrap submission forms around samples. If the sample leaks, the form will be damaged. Enclose the paperwork for all samples in a single zip-lock bag and place it on top of the samples.
- Do not send samples in syringes and remove all sharps from the boxes. Packages with sharps will be rejected.
- Label the outside of the box clearly. Remove old conflicting labels that could confuse delivery.
- Packages should be marked with a 'Diagnostic Specimen' label on the outside of the box.
- Your return address is important. This is one way to track packages received by the laboratory.
- Do not ship in unprotected Styrofoam containers: these break easily if squeezed or dropped. Styrofoam within a cardboard box is recommended.
Please note that samples will not be received on weekends and major holidays so care must be taken to avoid shipment/delivery during these times. If you have any questions please contact the individual laboratory for hours of operation.
IATA has recently tightened their guidelines for shipment of known pathogens and even diagnostic specimens for some diseases, including Rabies. If you are shipping a pathogen or a diagnostic specimen with potential zoonotic risks, the IATA Dangerous Goods and Safety Website contains online information about the regulations. Rabies specimens should be shipped by courier and not by air. The complete Federal Department of Transport (DOT) Regulation can be found at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/regs.
Federal regulations govern the packaging and labeling of diagnostic specimens. If spillage that damages mail or equipment occurs during the shipment, the shipper may face prosecution, even if the material involved was not hazardous.
Human Exposure Rabies Submission Form Complete this form if:
- A bite has been inflicted to some part of the body of a human
- The animal's saliva has made contact with a fresh, open wound, mucous membrane, or the eye of a human
- Severe scratches by teeth or claws have broken the skin of a human
For all other submissions, please complete the following form:
Non Human Exposure Rabies Submisson Form
A completed rabies submission form MUST accompany each submission.
Contact with suspect carcasses and samples should be avoided if possible. If some contact is necessary, gloves should be worn.
Rabies testing for human exposure cases is performed at:
the PA Department of Health, Bureau of Laboratories
110 Pickering Way, Lionville, PA 19353; 610-280-3464
Rabies testing for livestock and non-human exposure cases is performed at:
the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory (PVL) in Harrisburg
telephone number 717-787-8808.
No live animals will be accepted for rabies testing.
If the animal is alive:
- Livestock and companion animals – contact your local veterinarian for euthanasia
- Wildlife – contact your local PA Game Commission field officer for capture and euthanasia
- Stray or feral animals – contact your local animal control officer for capture and euthanasia
Carcasses, heads or whole brains are acceptable submissions for rabies testing at PADLS laboratories. Bats should always be submitted intact for identification purposes. Specimens should be refrigerated (not frozen) as soon as possible after death. If further diagnostic work is to follow a negative rabies test, the laboratory must be informed at the time of submission, to ensure that proper tissues are saved. For safety purposes, no additional tests are performed on specimens after a positive rabies test is received. No part of any animal submitted for rabies testing will be returned, regardless of test results.
How to submit specimens for rabies testing
Hand delivery of specimens for rabies testing is recommended when possible. Facilities are available for submitting specimens after hours (weekends or evenings) for processing on the next business day. If hand delivery is not possible, samples may be shipped. Please see shipping guidelines for further information.
The result of rabies testing on the brain is provided to the veterinarian and/or physician associated with the case. If the test is positive, the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services and the Department of Health are also notified. Quarantine of animals, if necessary, is administered by PDA Regional offices. Please contact your regional PDA office with any questions regarding rabies quarantine.
Links for additional rabies information:
PA Department of Health / Rabies Fact Sheet
Centers for Disease Control / Rabies information