The pre-analytical stage concerns all of the steps involved in preparing the animals correctly and taking samples, as well as sending them. These precautions are fundamental for a knowledgeable report of the laboratory results.

Various factors, often linked to errors in the pre-analytical phase, can influence the test results and must be taken into consideration when the measurements are interpreted.

The lids of the test tubes used for sampling are colour-coded, which allows the presence of anticoagulants in the tube to be identified

Plasma is compulsory for some tests such as the coagulation system, glucose and lactate. Plasma is a fluid fraction of blood and its coagulation can be prevented by adding various substances.

Serum is obtained after the blood is coagulated in the plain tube (yellow lid), without anticoagulants. It is indicated for practically all factors of clinical chemistry and serology.  

Choosing the correct sampling material is essential for the results of bacteriological analyses. To obtain an ideal result, it is crucial to choose the optimal equipment for the infectious agent to remain able to proliferate during transport.

Urine samples may be conserved at refrigerator temperature (4°C) for a period of 24 hours. A sterile pot must be used for bacteriological analyses.

Samples of faecal matter to test for parasites or bacteria, may be kept at refrigerator temperature (4°C) for a maximum duration of 2 to 3 days (except for Campylobacter spp.).

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