Referral Veterinary Service

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Referring veterinarians can request that a necropsy (animal autopsy) be performed. A completed necropsy request is needed from the referring vet before a necropsy can be performed. Primate necropsies are only accepted with pre-approval from a UTCVM pathologist.

Requesting a Necropsy:

  • Legal Forensic Exam – While we will accept and perform “legal” cases, please be aware that our pathologists are not specialized in forensic pathology. Should a detailed forensic examination be required, other regional services such as The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine should be considered. The University of Florida can help decide if a forensic necropsy is needed and can also perform the necropsy. For more information, please visit their website or call 352-294-4726.
  • Necropsy request form
  • Includes a full gross examination and in most cases a microscopic examination
  • Faculty veterinary pathologists will perform the necropsy with the assistance of residents (veterinarians training to become pathologists) and veterinary students.
  • Gross necropsy findings will be phoned in or emailed to the referring veterinarian within 48 hours of completion
  • A complete and final necropsy report (including gross and microscopic findings) will be reported within 6 weeks.
  • Referring veterinarians should call 865-974-5673 for fees or further information regarding necropsy submissions.

Prices and Fees

  • The cost of routine necropsies depends on many factors, including the size and type of animal. Please contact our Anatomic Pathology Laboratory for pricing.
  • Ancillary testing and disposal charges may be an additional cost.
  • Insurance or potential legal cases may incur a $200 add-on insurance/legal fee to the routine necropsy base fee
  • Rabies testing only (no necropsy) is available for $50 (disposal fee/cremation handling fee not included)
  • In all cases, the referring veterinarian is charged for the necropsy and any associated fees
    • It is the referring veterinarian’s responsibility to convey these charges to the owner.

Handling of Remains

  • We do NOT return bodies to the owners or referring veterinarians
  • The animal’s remains can be disposed of at the Veterinary​ Medical Center or returned to the owner via private cremation (not available for entire large animals >200 pounds).​
  • Referring veterinarians are responsible for making arrangements with a private cremation service (Yeargan Pet burial, Resthaven, Tri-county pet services, etc.).  The Veterinary Medical Center is not responsible for making arrangements of paying any fees incurred by the private cremation service.
  • Cremation of Remains – Animal’s body will be disposed of after 30 days if Anatomic Pathology is not contacted 865-974-5673 with a cremation decision or if animal has not been picked up by cremation service.

Contact Information​



  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (EST)
  • Monday – Friday

Shipping Address

  • UTCVM Anatomic Pathology Laboratory
  • Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences
  • 2407 River Drive, Room A205
  • Knoxville, TN 37996-4543