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North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services  -  Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System

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Specimen Submittal

  • Specimens and animals for necropsy are accepted from both veterinarians and owners.
  • Specimens submitted to our laboratories, including carcasses, tissues and any isolated agents, become the property of the NCVDLS.
  • Please consult the Lab User Guidefor the specimen type that is necessary for each laboratory test.
  • For any client questions such as appropriate specimen selection or interpretation of test results, the NCVDLS professional veterinary and supervisory staff is available for your assistance. Names and contact information appear in our Staff Directory.
  • Specimens must be accompanied by an appropriate submission form. A complete history should also accompany all submissions and include the address and telephone of the client, as well as the age, breed and sex of the animal. Specimens should be clearly labeled. Contaminated, decomposed, or inappropriate specimens will not be processed.
  • To maximize the reliability of any diagnostic test findings, the method of specimen shipment should be an overnight service, if at all possible.
  • The use of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to transport specimens is discouraged because, as a general rule, mail is not delivered directly to our facilities. Also, regular mail delivery can be much slower and cannot be tracked.
  • To combat rising prices, we offer a discounted shipping rate through Federal Express. For more information about this service please click here or contact the Rollins Laboratory at 919.733.3986 or
  • Please note that the NCVDLS does not perform rabies testing. In North Carolina, this service is provided by the State Laboratory of Public Health. Fresh brain tissue is the required specimen. Unopened heads or fresh brain should be cooled, packed in a leak-proof insulated container with ice packs and sent to the address below for rabies testing:

State Laboratory of Public Health
4312 District Drive
Raleigh, N.C. 27611
(919) 733-7544 (7:30 am - 5:00 pm weekdays)
(919) 733-3419 (nights, weekends, holidays)

NOTE: It is against USPS regulations to send this type of specimen through the mail. If histopathology, culture or other procedures are needed in addition to rabies testing, please send the specimen to Rollins Laboratory first, and we will transfer it to the rabies laboratory.


Dr. Karen Post , Director
Rollins Laboratory
2101 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 733-3986