Frequently Asked Questions

Plain, Gel or Heparin Gel??

Q. Should I send a plain, gel or heparin tube for biochemistry analysis?


For all mammals a Gel tube is preferred, however Heparin may also be used.

For Birds and reptiles a Heparin sample is preferred.

For small furries, where only a small amount of blood could be obtained, a Lithium Heparin sample may be sent. The same Lithium Heparin sample can be used for haematology analysis, instead of EDTA.

Please note, there may be exceptions to these rules and the brochure should always be consulted before taking the sample from the animal.

Small Birds and Reptiles

Q. We have a small bird which we can only get a very small sample from. What tubes could we use for a general profile of tests?


For certain avian or reptilian species red cells tend to haemolyse with the EDTA sample and the white cells often clump together with the heparin. Chemistry tests can only be run from the Heparin tube. To get the most accurate Biochemistry and Haematology results it is therefore advisable that you send us EDTA and Heparin samples. If only small amounts of blood can be obtained from the animal, we recommend that you send us a heparin sample only with a blood smear and also let us know which tests are of priority to you.