Each year the IEC typically undertakes approximately 600 post mortem examinations of which c. 70% are carried out free of charge to the horse owner. This free service (for foetuses and foals under two weeks of age) is possible because of the financial support received by the IEC each year from the Irish Foal Levy. The vast majority of the IEC’s annual Foal Levy grant is allocated to the Pathology Unit to facilitate this service.
Analysis of tracheal and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples assist in the investigation and diagnosis of horses with respiratory tract disease. A technique where bronchoalveolar lavage can be performed on a routine basis in practice was developed by the Head of the Unit, Dr. Ursula Fogarty. The technique is now widely used throughout the world.
Post Mortem Examination
Carcasses or specimens for gross post-mortem examination can be accepted at the centre 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Carcass or specimen drop-off out of hours can be arranged by calling the IEC during office hours and at weekends using the on-call service. The on-call Pathology contact number is 087-995 9195.
Initial gross post mortem findings are relayed to the referring veterinary surgeon on completion of the gross post mortem within 24 – 48 hours of receipt of the case. On completion of additional testing as required, the written report is issued. This can take several weeks depending on the circumstances of the case and the testing required.
3) Turnaround time is usually within 10 days or sooner if specifically requested. Additional information or an opinion on the sample is always available on request. Sample bottles and formalin can be supplied on request.