Biopsy and Necropsy Services

The Department of Veterinary Pathology provides diagnostic surgical pathology service to the Veterinary Medical Center and we offer the same service to veterinary practitioners. Necropsy services also are available. Our staff includes seven ACVP board-certified veterinary anatomic pathologists and three histotechnologists. Our goal is to provide the highest quality diagnostic service to support the professional services of veterinarians and researchers.

What services do we provide?

We provide veterinary diagnostic histopathology service for biopsies submitted to us, including tumor diagnosis and dermatohistopathology.   

Biopsy – Small
1 specimen from 1 site/location that measures less than 3cm. Includes 3 histological stains.

Biopsy – Medium
1 specimen from 1 site/location that measures between 3-6cm. Includes 3 histological stains.

Biopsy- Large
1 specimen from 1 site/location that measures greater than 6cm. Includes 3 histological stains.

Punch Biopsy
1 group of small punch or endoscopic biopsies from 1 site/location.

Ocular Biopsy
Submission of 1 eye. Includes 3 histological stains.

Additional Biopsy
Each additional specimen in a case from an additional site/location.
$30.00 each

Necropsy in a Jar 1-5
Submission of 1-5 organs/lesions/specimens from a referring DVM performed necropsy. Includes 3 histological stains.

Necropsy in a Jar 6+
Submission of 6 or more organs/lesions/specimens from a referring DVM performed necropsy. Includes 3 histological stains.

Histological Necropsy
Full gross necropsy including histological interpretation of lesioned tissue. Includes 3 histological stains.

Legal Necropsy
Full documented gross necropsy including histological interpretation of all organ systems and lesioned tissue for use in legal cases. Includes 3 histological stains.

Immunohistochemical Staining
Staining of a positive control slide, test slide, and negative control slide with 1 histological marker recommended by a pathologist.

Decalcification of submitted specimens that must undergo a demineralization process for effective biopsy.

Our response goal is to fax or e-mail a written report to our clients within 24 hours of receiving a specimen. Specimens requiring decalcification or special stains will usually require additional time.


How do you submit a biopsy to us?                                                        

Fill out the Department of Veterinary Pathology Histopathology Submission form and submit it with the specimen. You can easily print this form from our website (PDF format).  You may need to download Acrobat ReaderPlease send only one copy of the submission form with your sample(s).

Place the biopsy specimen in a sealed, wide-mouth plastic bottle (no glass containers, please) that contains 10-20 volumes of 10% neutral buffered formalin. Wrap parafilm (no packing tape, please) around the lid and place the labeled bottle in a plastic bag with absorbent material (paper towel). Place inside a sturdy cardboard box and ship by the carrier of your choice to:

Iowa State University
Department of Veterinary Pathology
1800 Christensen Drive
2703 Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1134

Specimens sent via mail or other carrier are required by law to be in a leak proof container, placed in a sealed bag with absorbent material suitable for absorbing a leak, and surrounded by a hard container (cardboard box) to protect it from impact.  The visible part of the mailing container must include the destination and return address.  

The shipper has the responsibility to package these specimens in the manner described.

If you would like a kit that includes request forms, bottles, mailers, and return labelswe will gladly send these items to you. Please click here to print your request and fax to: (515) 294-7730. 

Mailing Specimens During Cold Weather

How do you submit a Necropsy to us? 

  • Necropsies from external clinics must be submitted to our department via a referring veterinarian.
  • The Department of Veterinary Pathology Necropsy Submission Form must be filled out to completion by a referring veterinarian and submitted to our department along with the body.
  • During normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM) please call 515-291-5209 upon arrival to drop off necropsies.
  • Outside of normal business hours please call 515-290-4683 upon arrival to drop off necropsies.
  • Calling the above numbers in advance with an anticipated arrival time is always encouraged and appreciated.

Who should you contact with questions or supply requests?

Please feel free to contact us if you have a question about our services.

General information, forms and mailer kits
Histopathology Laboratory,
Department of Veterinary Pathology
(515) 294-3282 or
Fax: (515) 294-4328
        (515) 294-7730

Technical information
Amanda La Coco
Manager Diagnostic Laboratory
(515) 294-3658

Dr. Amanda Fales-Williams, DVM, PhD
Professor and Chair
(515) 294-7445 or

Access to Clinical Pathology and Histopathology Reports