Pigs: a step-by-step guide to sampling and post-mortem

Page last updated: Thursday, 26 March 2020 - 6:29pm

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has created a sampling and post-mortem guide to assist veterinarians investigating pig disease. 

You can download a PDF copy from the Documents link on this page, or WA veterinarians can request a laminated hard copy by emailing livestockbiosecurity@dpird.wa.gov.au. 

A guide to sampling and post-mortem of pigs

Equipment required:

  • standard post-mortem kit including boning and skinning knives, scissors, scalpel blades, forceps
  • large shears or pruning secateurs to cut through ribs and jaw, bone saw
  • shears or small axe and hammer for brain removal
  • dry swabs, swabs in media (viral transport media, Amies media/charcoal), specimen jars for individual
  • fresh samples, 10% formalin, large containers for pooled formalin fixed samples
  • personal protection equipment – overalls, gloves, mask, eye protection
  • laboratory submission forms, permanent markers.

Sampling guidelines:

  • The base sample list is not exhaustive – consider submitting any other samples that may be useful (i.e. feed, water etc) and any lesions or abnormalities.
  • Fresh and fixed samples of any discrete lesions should also be submitted.
  • Consider sampling cohort animals (i.e. blood, faeces, swabs).
  • Complete a submission form to submit with samples. Tape to the outside of the esky/box of samples. Submissions forms and detailed packaging instructions are available on agric.wa.gov.au.
  • Consider sending photographs or videos to the DPIRD laboratory at DDLS@dpird.wa.gov.au .

Contact the DPIRD laboratory on (08) 9368 3351 prior to submission if you suspect a reportable, zoonotic or exotic disease.

Base sample list – pigs

Ante-mortem samples

Post-mortem samples

 
Fresh
Fixed

Blood:

  • Lithium heparin
  • Clotted
  • EDTA (+ smears)


Faeces


Swabs of discharges etc

Spleen
Lymph nodes
Tonsil
Ileum
Brain (swab or small section of cortex)
Liver
Lung
Kidney
Stomach contents
Faeces
Brain
(submitted whole)
Kidney
Liver
Lung
Spleen
Lymph nodes
Tonsil
Stomach
Small and large intestine
Ileum
Heart
Skeletal muscle
  • Chill bloods;
    consider spinning and separating serum and
    clot for transport.
  • Do not send sharps.
  • For swabs use the
    appropriate media
    then chill:
    • Amies or charcoal
      for bacteria
    • viral transport media for viruses and PCR
    • dry swabs (as a last resort) +/- a small drop of
      sterile saline for PCR.
  • Special media (e.g. Mycoplasma media) available on request.

Collect a 3x3cm piece of tissue and 
store in a sterile
container / sample pot.


Refrigerate or chill – DO NOT freeze.

Pool tissues into 10% neutral
buffered formalin
at a ratio of
10 parts formalin
to 1 part tissue.


Keep at room
temperature.


Seal containers and package well to
avoid spills.

 

 

Contact information

Livestock Biosecurity