What We Do
The Rabies Laboratory at DSHS in Austin is the primary rabies diagnostic laboratory in the State of Texas. It serves as a rabies reference laboratory for other laboratories in Texas, as well as for adjacent states in the United States.
The Rabies Team receives between 7,000 to 9,000 animal specimens each year for testing (approximately 27 to 35 specimens every day), so we are a VERY busy lab! Our procedures are designed to provide rapid reporting of results despite the volume of specimens we test daily. Results are usually available 24 – 48 hours after receipt of a specimen, except on weekends.
How to Use This Guide
The rabies specimen submission and shipping guidance is provided for all submitters of rabies specimens to DSHS Austin Laboratory. Guidelines on how to properly notify the rabies staff of a submission is also provided. Anyone who is concerned about having been in close contact with a potentially rabid animal is encouraged to discuss their concerns with a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Additional information on what to do if bitten by a suspected rabid animal is available online at DSHS Rabies.
- Click on the menu items to quickly navigate to the section of interest.
Please do not submit live bats or other live animals to the DSHS Laboratory.
We cannot accept live animals.
Place deceased, whole bat specimens in clear, sealable, leakproof bags, such as the zipper storage bag shown below.
The clear sealable bag requirement is new. Please follow all other steps in the Submitting Rabies Specimens to DSHS Laboratory guidance provided below.
The heads of larger animals may be placed in appropriately sized bags such as red biohazard bags or sturdy garbage bags. Securely close bags to prevent leaks.
Please refer to: Submitting Rabies Specimens to the DSHS Laboratory for detailed specimen submission guidance.
Keep Specimens Cool! Please factor in the elevated temperatures your specimens may encounter while in transit. Ship all specimens with ice packs.
- Due to biohazard safety guidelines, the laboratory is unable to return carcasses submitted for rabies testing to owners or submitters, no exceptions.
Rabies Specimen Submission and Testing Contacts
|Questions/Concerns About . . .||Group Name||Contacts||Other|
|Obtaining a G-9 Rabies Submission Form||Laboratory Reporting||Email: LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov
Call: (512) 776-7578
1-888-963-7111 ext. 7578 (toll free)
Fax: (512) 776-7533
|Downloadable form available:|
|Testing Requirements||Rabies Identification Team||Email: email@example.com
Call: (512) 776-7595
|Rabies Submission Notification||Rabies Hotline||Call: 1-800-252-8163|
|Confirming Receipt of Rabies Notification Form by Lab||Specimen Acquisition||Call: 1-800-252-8163|
|Reporting of Test Results||Laboratory Reporting||LabInfo@dshs.texas.gov
Call: (512) 776-7578
|Arranging Emergency Saturday Testing||Rabies Laboratory / Regional Zoonosis Control||
|Shipping Container and Labeling Requirements||Specimen Acquisition||Call: 512-776-7598||Refer to Rabies Submission and Shipping Instructions.|
Rabies Identification Team
Phone: (512) 776-7595 Rabies Laboratory (between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.)
Arranging Emergency Saturday Testing
Before 4:00 p.m. Fridays, call the Rabies Laboratory at (512) 776-7595
After 4:00 p.m. Fridays, call (512) 776-7111 and request to speak with a regional Zoonosis Control staff member.
Notifying Laboratory of Rabies Specimen Submission (Required by Law)
Complete electronic notification form, Coming Soon!
Call the Rabies Hotline at 1-800-252-8163 (Toll Free) 24-hours a day. This number is for Specimen Shipment Notification Only!