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Taking DNA Samples

General guidelines for taking DNA samples

  • Do each test separately, disinfect hands and work surfaces, and use new material for each test.
  • Package samples for each dog separately in appropriate containers (paper pouch for hair samples and paper envelope for saliva or blood swabs).
  • Label each sample with the dog’s information before continuing with the next one. This must contain: The full name and registration number of the dog.

Saliva swabs:

Blood swabs:

  1. Hold the dog firm but in a comfortable position to reach the ear
  2. Use a sterile needle and prick the ear.  Blood will appear after a few seconds.
  3. Use blotting, tissue or toilet paper for blotting as soon as you have a reasonable drop of blood.
  4. Wait until the blood on the paper has dried completely, before putting it in a paper envelope.

Hair follicle samples:

  1. Use a tweezer and pull out hair at the base of the tail towards the head of the dog. Take care as the hair follicle must be attached to each hair, or will be worthless. 30-40 hair samples with follicles are required.
  2. Place the samples in a sealable plastic bag, similar to a bank bag, and ensure that it is tightly sealed.


Visit Sampling and Dispatch of Specimens at Unistel Medical Laboratories for further particulars.