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Blood Samples


Instructions for Blood & Tissue Sample Submission

Blood Sample

  • Submit 10 cc's of whole blood in a purple-topped (EDTA) tube(s). If 10-cc tubes are not available, use two 5-cc tubes or three 3-cc tubes.
  • Put the blood sample in the tubes and gently rock it a few times to distribute the anticoagulant: Do not spin, extract serum, or anything further. Refrigerate if the sample is being held for any time before shipping.

Tissue Sample

  • If the dog dies, donating an organ will provide an enormous supply of DNA for the research. Please discuss organ donation with your veterinarian before the dog's death.
  • If the dog is to be euthanized, first take a blood sample if possible, and send both samples.
  • Appropriate organs in order of preference are: 1) spleen: 2 )kidney: 3) liver (only a portion of the liver is needed).
  • Have the organ removed as soon as possible after the dog's death. Place the organ into a labeled freezer bag, place in a second bag, freeze, and ship.

Labeling and Forms

  • Label the sample with the following: Australian Shepherd Epilepsy Research, dog's registered name, AKC number, call name, and affected/not affected status.
  • If you are submitting several dogs' samples together, number each dog's forms and samples to prevent a mix up (Sample #1, #2 etc., accompanies forms #1, #2, etc.)
  • Complete the Consent Form.
  • Complete an Individual Dog Questionnaire and include a Pedigree with the sample. Mark the pedigree with a highlighter to indicate where this dog fits in the pedigree, and in the space at the bottom provide the dog's registered name, call name, and AKC number (if they are not on the Pedigree) and relationship to the epileptic dog(s) in the Pedigree, and indicate affected/ not affected status.


  • Pack the sample in a small insulated container (most vets have these for shipping samples to labs), with one or more cool packs. Blood samples must be kept cool but not frozen, and the tissue must be kept as frozen as possible. If you're sending both types of samples together, place the cool packs around the tissue sample, and wrap the blood samples in newspaper or other packing material to insulate it somewhat from the cool packs and frozen organ.
  • Ideally , ship the sample immediately (make sure tissue samples are completely frozen first). Ship by overnight delivery (US Mail, UPS, or FedEx). Do not send on a Friday because no one may be available to accept the delivery on a Saturday, and the sample might become unusable by Monday.
  • If the samples are held for a day or over the weekend, blood must be refrigerated and gently rocked to redistribute everything once a day, and the tissue samples must be kept frozen.
  • If you are sending samples from outside the U.S., please read additional instructions.
  • Send samples with all forms to:

Australian Shepherd Epilepsy Research
C/O Dr. Ned Patterson

Neuromuscular Genetics Lab
University of Minnesota
C339 Veterinary Teaching Hospitals
1352 Boyd Ave.
St. Paul MN 55108
If you have any questions or need assistance
please call the neuromuscular genetics lab at 612-624-5322.


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