William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Anatomic Pathology

Anatomic Pathology Services - Frequently Asked Questions

Biopsy services

When will the biopsy results for my animal be available?
Your clinician should have the biopsy results within 72 hours of the sample being submitted to Pathology.

Can I call the Pathology Service and talk to the pathologist to receive necropsy or biopsy results on my animal, or to speed the system up?
No, the pathologist will report results to your animal's clinician, who, in turn, will provide that information to you as soon as available. All communication about your case needs to be through your assigned clinician.

Necropsy services

What is a necropsy?
A necropsy is an autopsy on an animal. Pathologists examine the animal's body and organs to determine the cause of death and to teach veterinarians about diagnosing disease.

Do you perform necropsies for non-VMTH clients?
Our necropsy service is for current patients. If you are not a client of the VMTH, you will be referred to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory or a private necropsy facility.

What is "current-patient" status?
A current patient is a patient that has been seen at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital within the past three years.

When will my animal be necropsied?
The usual necropsy hours are 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Necropsies are not performed on Sundays except in emergencies.

After my animal is examined, how long will it be held for pick-up?
Clients need to make arrangements with the pet cemetery of their choice or make personal arrangements to have their pets' remains picked up within three days.

When will I receive my necropsy results?
You will receive a preliminary report of the necropsy findings within a week from the clinician who submitted your pet. The final report should be available through your clinician within 30 days.

Is there a disposal fee for patients that receive a free necropsy?
Yes, horses incur a disposal fee that must be paid by the client, whether there is a necropsy or not.

If I am a current client but have a non-VMTH animal that dies, can I receive free disposal for my pet?
No, we charge disposal fees for small and large animals.

I am a client but have a non-VMTH patient that I want to have necropsied. Do I have to pay for the necropsy?
Yes, the fee is weight-based. In addition, appropriate disposal fees will be charged.

I have an insured horse being submitted for necropsy. Is there a charge for this service?
Yes, the fee is based on complexity and weight of the animal.

Body Will Program

Can I donate my pet to the Body Will Program?
Yes, you can donate your deceased pet to the Body Will Program. We use these carcasses for teaching necropsy techniques to senior veterinary students. Any pet that has been dead less than 24 hours and weighs less than 50 pounds can be considered. Please note that you will not receive any necropsy results for your pet, as these animals are used for teaching only. Delivery of the deceased pet to us is the owner's responsibility.

Please note that all fees are subject to change.