Emergency Equine Protocols

We know that the loss of your horse, or the consideration of euthanasia, is an emotionally trying time.

If you do wish to have a Genetic Preservation (GP) of your horse, it is important to collect the necessary tissue samples promptly.   Below you will find instructions for collecting those samples.

While Genetic Preservation (GP) does not require you to clone your horse, if you would like to clone your horse Genetic Preservation (GP) is necessary.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-876-6104.

To view the emergency packing instructional video, click here.

General Information

Time is of the essence in a post-mortem situation. If the animal/tissue has been kept under optimal conditions post mortem — cool (approximately 4ºC), not frozen — then the maximum length of time we can accept the biopsy samples is 5 days post mortem. Storage at higher temperatures will decrease the chance of successful preservation and should be avoided. Keep in mind that each day the animal has been deceased minimizes the chance of a successful preservation. Please be aware the best way to assure a successful preservation is to have your animal biopsied while it is alive.

These instructions are to be used for obtaining tissue for genetic preservation of cells from deceased horses. Tissue samples received will be used to establish cell cultures, and the resulting cells will be harvested and stored in liquid nitrogen.



DO NOT ship samples on Friday as our lab does not receive shipments on the weekends. If samples are from a deceased animal and need to be received in lab as soon as possible, contact ViaGen Equine for alternate instructions. Do not ship samples on or close to holidays.


Death or Euthanasia

If the animal dies or is euthanized, refrigerate but DO NOT FREEZE the animal until you perform the biopsy procedure.  Complete the biopsy procedure and store each biopsy sample in a separate sterile vial containing sterile saline. Blood tubes without anticoagulant are appropriate vials. Store vials in the refrigerator until ready to package and send out.  DO NOT FREEZE.


Items Required


Sterilizing Agent (Chlorhexidine/Alcohol)

Sterile Gauze

Scalpel Blade



Sterile Blood Tubes (without anticoagulant) or Sterile Container

Sterile Saline

Ice Packs – we recommend 2 fully frozen, 24-ounce gel ice packs

Styrofoam box for Shipment (can use Equitaner instead)

Newspaper or Bubble Wrap

Client Contract (if not previously signed)

Biopsy Form


Coggins Test Results

The Coggins Test from the animal being biopsied needs to be within 180 days of this tissue collection. Please include a copy of the current Coggins Test when you return the kit or fax to 737-843-4993; Attention: Customer Service


Sample Types

Recommended tissue types for Genetic Preservation are skin and ear tip.  Take four total samples from at least 2 different areas.  AT LEAST 1 EAR SAMPLE IS REQUIRED. Each sample should be approximately 1 inch x 1 inch in size.


Aseptic Preparation of Biopsy Site

The biopsy area must be shaved and cleansed with a series of chlorhexidine and alcohol scrubs.


Tools and Technique

A sterile scalpel and forceps are required. Cut through all the layers including the epidermis, dermis, and the most superficial parts of the subcutis. Remove (1.0 in X 1.0 in) tissue samples with sterile forceps.


Labeling Instructions

Using a marker, clearly label one container/tube for each sample with the following:

1. Tissue Type

2. Collection date

3. Date of Death

4. Species

5. Animal Name

6. Sex of the Animal


Shipment Procedure for Tissue Samples

1. Place the ice packs in the bottom of a Styrofoam box.

2. Wrap the samples in newspaper or bubble wrap, so they will not come in direct contact with the ice.

3. Place the samples on top of the ice packs.

4. Place any contracts in a Ziploc bag and include in the box.

5. Seal the box, and immediately send samples to ViaGen Equine via FedEX PRIORITY OVERNIGHT.

Ship Samples to:

Attn: Lab Processing ViaGen Pets
715 Discovery Blvd, Suite 410
Cedar Park, Texas 78613
Phone: 888-876-6104



** This is required on all equine. This hair sample for DNA analysis will immediately be analyzed and used for later verification of cloned animals.

Pull (DO NOT CUT) 50-60 mane hairs by wrapping hairs around forefinger. Grasp hair close to animal’s body to ensure roots are included. Pull straight towards your body. Visually check that root bulbs are attached to hair. DO NOT TOUCH ROOT BULBS. Place sample in Ziploc bag until hair sample collection kit is received from ViaGen Equine. Once you have received the hair sample collection kit, please follow the instructions provided in the kit and send hair sample directly to UC Davis in the addressed envelope provided.