If you have an animal that wish to have tested, specific tissues must be delivered intact to the laboratory. Taking samples requires specific training and some amount of experience. Your first contact should be your local veterinarian. Do not freeze samples. In most cases, brain stem tissue called the obex will be used to test for the presence of CWD prions. The region of the brain is one of the first to show the deposition of prions after infection. The obex must be removed from the carcass, and placed in a 10% formalin solution for transport to the laboratory.
Alternative tests have been used in various research activities that do not require either the obex or to sacrifice the animal. Although these tests show great efficacy, their results are not recognized by the USDA for CWD monitoring efforts. As a result, it is recommended to use the traditional obex test.
Contact the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for instructions on taking and submitting samples. In many cases, your local veterinarian can assist in properly collecting and shipping samples to the lab. In Texas, testing is conducted at the expensive of the private citizen. If you travel out of state to hunt, be sure to check the regulations in your hunt destination regarding CWD.