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IZVG Pathology - Facilities & Services

A division of the International Zoo Veterinary Group

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Our pathology division was established to provide dedicated pathology services for zoo, exotic, wildlife and aquarium species (including fish), and we are unique within the UK in working solely with these species. We provide gross post mortem examinations and histopathology services for our own zoo, aquarium and private clients, to other diagnostic laboratories, and to specialist referral and first opinion veterinary practices.

We prefer private individuals (i.e. non-veterinarians) with collections of exotic animals to liaise with us through their usual veterinary surgeon in the first instance, so that appropriate clinical measures (e.g. prescription treatments) can be recommended by their vet in response to our findings.

Our two pathologists work closely with our experienced clinicians and support staff within IZVG to assist many leading zoological collections and aquaria. Regular publications and professional presentations attest to our determination to enhance the discipline of zoo pathology in the United Kingdom.

From our laboratory in Keighley, International Zoo Veterinary Group Pathology can provide the following services:

  • Gross post mortem examinations for zoo, wildlife and aquarium species including invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (including most primates)
  • Histopathology (biopsy or post mortem material) on formalin-fixed samples from all of the above species
  • Forensic post mortem examination and expert witness statements for legal and insurance cases
  • Extensive in-house laboratory support for the above examinations, including cytology, microbiology and parasitology
  • Detailed written reports (by email or fax) tailored to your requirements, including interpretative comment based on the available literature
  • Access to an extensive range of expert testing (virology, mycobacteriology, mycology, PCR testing, electron microscopy, haemoprotozoal identification etc.) to supplement gross or histological diagnosis as required, with comment and integration of results into final reports by our pathologists
  • Collection (by prior agreement), suitable storage and onward shipment of additional samples to support research protocols (e.g. to support taxon-specific EEP or other conservation-based programmes)
  • Pathology support for in-situ or ex-situ conservation work, either on a case-by-case basis or as part of a grant-funded or DEFRA-tendered programme of work
  • Scientifically rigorous, residency-trained pathologists readily available for telephone or email consultation on cases submitted to us, or for wider guidance on any aspect of zoo and wildlife pathology
  • Enthusiasm to collaborate on presentations and publications arising from the above

We can provide packaging materials for routine sample submissions, and guidance on submission of more difficult specimens.

We can also provide pathologists for off-site gross post mortem examinations, for example, where the size of an animal (e.g. megafauna) makes examination in our own laboratory impractical. Our pathologists can assist in the planning and execution of such procedures, and liaise with appropriate facilities and other colleagues to ensure an efficient team-based approach.


Our pathologists work from newly refurbished offices and laboratory facilities in Keighley, West Yorkshire. At this location we have access to:

  • Post mortem room for animals up to approximately 200 kg
  • Biological safety cabinet for post mortem cases requiring additional containment (e.g. birds, primates)
  • Complete histology service including processing, sectioning, special stains
  • Two full time pathology/histology technicians
  • Off-site specialist clinical pathology laboratory support including microbiology, parasitology, haematology, biochemistry, toxicology
  • Established network of off-site expert laboratories for additional testing such as PCR, virology, mycobacterial culture and identification, electron microscopy, endoparasite and haemoparasite identification
  • An extensive library of paper-based and electronic reference and training materials

Work Experience

Our pathology division is able to offer a limited number of placements for veterinary pathology residents, veterinary surgeons undertaking work towards specialist postgraduate qualifications in zoo and wildlife medicine, and veterinary students in their clinical years who have already some interest and aptitude in pathology. This could include collaborating on elective research projects in consultation with the student’s host academic institution.

If you are looking for work experience in a veterinary practice, you may wish to consult the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon's website (www.rcvs.org.uk) to locate a practice near you.

International Zoo Veterinary Group is a trading name of IZVG LLP, a limited liability partnership no. OC361054, registered England

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