The Allen Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) is a state-of-the-art post mortem facility completed in 2001 and immediately used as the diagnostic centre of the Foot-and-Mouth outbreak due to its containment features. The laboratory is outfitted for companion animal, equine and small exotic animal post mortems.
What is a post mortem?
Post mortem examinations (necropsies) are performed on deceased animals to determine the probable cause(s) of death or to collect specimens for additional testing, which may aide in selecting the appropriate treatment for other animals in a stud, house, kennel or litter of animals. Necropsies may also be performed on the basis of legal or disease investigation needs.
What are the benefits of a post mortem?
Post mortems can benefit:
The owner: Offering closure during this traumatic time by confirming a clinical diagnosis or the severity of disease, or by identifying the cause of sudden death.
The owner and attending vet: Providing information on probable cause(s) of death, which may be beneficial in the selection of appropriate treatment for other animals in stud, house, kennel or litter.
Veterinary knowledge: Through improvement of clinical understanding of disease processes, education of clinicians and, if appropriate, furthering veterinary knowledge through research.
Necropsy prices include the post mortem examination with a macroscopic ('gross') report, and all, if any, required in-house histology to evaluate for a probable cause of death. Samples may be taken, with consent, for additional recommended testing, such as bacterial culture and viral isolation. In some instances additional testing may be outsourced to speciality labs (e.g. toxicology) in which instances charges for these tests are at the rate of the subcontracting lab.
- Post Mortems are performed at the Allen Centre on various species, with the following exceptions: Birds / Reptiles / Cattle / Pigs / Primates / Marine Life / and animals that have recently had chemotherapy.
- The Animal Health Trust is a referral hospital, and as such all requests must be made through a referring vet prior to arrival, and requests cannot be accepted from the owner themselves. Note: Please ensure the owner is fully aware that the AHT will only converse with the referring veterinary practitioner on any matters pertaining to the post mortem.
- Ideally, patients should be kept cooled and sent to the AHT as soon as possible to preserve diagnostic integrity. If a notable delay is expected freezing may be recommended. NB Freezing neurology cases (Brain / spinal cord) is not advisable, and consultation with a pathologist is encouraged if such a case is likely to be delayed.
- An appropriate courier service may be utilised for transportation of suitably contained submissions. The Allen Centre hours of operation are Monday - Friday 8am – 5pm. A weekend on-call post mortem service is provided for equine submissions under the auspices of the HBLB, ROA, and TBA; please contact us on the normal telephone number above to make arrangements with the on-call pathologist.
- Due to legal restrictions remains cannot be returned to the owner prior to cremation. Group cremation is included in the cost, however private cremation can be requested (at extra cost), and the ashes returned. Relevant costs can be found in our price list.
- As part of our mandate we not only treat diseases, but strive to prevent and understand them, as such donations of beloved pets for the purpose of furthering knowledge are often made and interested parties may liaise with the appropriate department(s) if they wish to donate.
- If a body is donated solely for research purposes, there is no charge, provided the animal goes for mass cremation. Private cremations will be charged. In all cases, please consult with our Pathology Department prior to submission.
- Submission forms for post mortems can be downloaded here.
Watch out for our September DLS newsletter when topics will focus on equine post mortems and EHV clearance submissions.
|The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is extremely grateful to the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) for their continued combined contribution to the AHT’s Equine Infectious Disease Service, which in particular supports key staff within the Diagnostic Laboratory and Pathology Service and allows enhanced investigation and control of significant equine infectious diseases in the United Kingdom.