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Submission Guidelines


Submission Guidelines for Post-mortem Examination

We perform post-mortem examinations on small animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents, as well as birds, reptiles, fish and other small exotic species. Large animal species (farm, zoo and equine) can also be accepted. Advance notification will be required for any intended post-mortem submission so that we can coordinate delivery and properly manage logistics. A completed AND signed Submission Form MUST be submitted and approved by a pathologist prior to arranging delivery of the animal.


Delivery of Animals

Please contact the Veterinary Pathology Centre prior to delivery of any animal for post-mortem examination. Please call 01483 689823 or email in advance, to arrange delivery to the following address:


Veterinary Pathology Centre

University of Surrey

Francis Crick Road





Our post-mortem examination service incorporates the following 3 areas:

  1. Post-mortem examination and basic histopathology: all cases submitted for post-mortem examination will be examined by our board-certified pathologists and/or a Veterinary Investigation Officer (VIO). Standard fees are based on species and weight, as shown in our post-mortem price structure, and include gross post-mortem examination with routine histopathology for up to 5 tissues. A special processing fee may be applicable in certain circumstances- price on application.
  2. Cremation options: include either individual or communal cremation – see details below.
  3. Additional testing: such as microbial culture, may be needed or recommended in some, but not all cases. Where this is required as part of the diagnostic process, an additional fee will be charged. Any additional tests recommended in the initial report will be only be performed and charged following approval by the submitting veterinary surgeon.


Turn-around time (TAT)

All post-mortem cases will be examined by our board-certified pathologists who aim to report gross pathology within 2 business days of the examination. Where histopathology is performed, a full report will be issued within 6-8 weeks, keeping our turn-around-times as low as practicable.


Cremation Options

Cremation options are either individual or communal cremation. We cannot return animals for burial after post-mortem examination, and we do not perform cosmetic post-mortem examinations.

Communal Cremation

For routine communal cremation, the cost is based on the weight of the animal in kilograms. Prior to post-mortem examination, animals will be weighed to determine a specific final cost. If this is significantly different to the estimated weight entered on the submission form, we will contact you.

  • For animals under 10kg, a standard fee of £6 applies per animal
  • For animals over 10kg, a fee of £0.75 per kg will be applied


Individual Cremation

If an individual cremation is requested, we can suggest local pet cremation services.

Any individual cremation will need to be arranged directly with the provider and will be subject to additional fees payable directly to the pet cremation provider. Please indicate this as a request on the Submission Form. We will liaise with the pet cremation provider regarding transfer of the animal.


Central Nervous System (CNS) Cases

In CNS cases where removal of brain and spinal cord is indicated a surcharge will apply in addition to the standard fees. This covers the additional time taken to perform the post-mortem examination as well as the significantly increased number of histological sections that typically need to be taken and interpreted in such cases. Please contact us at for a quote.


Litigation Cases

If you have a case that requires post-mortem examination and preparation of reports for legal purposes because of potential or known medicolegal implications, please contact the Head of Pathology or the Pathologist on Duty. They will discuss the case with you and determine whether it can be accommodated. Costs will also be determined in advance and confirmed prior to submission.


Teaching and Research

Materials submitted for post-mortem examination become the property of the University of Surrey and may be retained for diagnostic, teaching and research purposes. They may subsequently be used for teaching purposes with our students and trainee pathologists, and also may contribute to further study as part of research projects, where applicable. Where publications are made, any personal information will be anonymised. Owners are required to provide informed consent for this purpose. Please indicate on the Submission Form that the owner has provided informed consent. Alternatively, please contact us prior to submission if the owner does not consent to this use.


Terms & Conditions

All post-mortem examination services offered by the University of Surrey at the Veterinary Pathology Centre, and detailed on our website are subject to our standard Terms and Conditions for the supply of Veterinary Pathology Services.



Please note: we do not accept direct payment from owners. Because the submitting veterinary practice is our client, we invoice the practice for all diagnostic tests, including post-mortem examinations. All prices quoted are exclusive of VAT.