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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Urolith Submission

How to interpret the results?
What should I do if I have questions on the analysis?
What should I do if I have questions about the diet?
What should I do if I have questions about management of difficult case?
I don’t have a good history on this patient- how do I answer the questions on the online submission form?
How should the sample be packaged and shipped?
How long before I receive results?
I have multiple stones; do I need to submit them all?
How small of a sample can be analyzed?
Can I cancel the analysis?
Should I send the sample in formalin?
The sample was accidentally put in formalin, what do we do now?

Can I submit choleoliths, sialoliths, and enteroliths for analysis?
Can I submit samples from species other than dogs and cats?
Does the Minnesota Urolith Center provide mailers, containers or prepaid mailing labels?
How can the Minnesota Urolith Center perform this analysis at no cost to the clinic or patient?
 
How do I set up an account? Go to the login page urolithcenter.org or www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/MinnesotaUrolithCenter and select the LAB ACCESS button.
  • We’ve been submitting samples for years. How do we set up an online account? The first time you use the online submission/retrieval system you will need to create a user account. Access the urolith submission website urolithcenter.org . Click on “Sign Up”. Select "I know my clinic ID with the urolith center".  Enter your clinic ID and zip/postal code. You will be asked to enter user information (user e-mail, name, and password) as well as a clinic e-mail for report transmission.  If you do not know you clinic id, please contact the lab at 612-625-4221 or email at support@urolithcenter.org.
  • We’ve never submitted samples. How do we set up an online account? The first time you use the online submission/retrieval system you will need to create a user account. Access the urolith submission website urolithcenter.org . Click on “Sign Up”.   Select "This is the first time my clinic has ever submitted a sample via mail or online with the Minnesota Urolith Center".   You will be asked to enter clinic information and e-mail, as well as user information (user e-mail, name, and password).  If you are unsure if your clinic has submitted samples in the past contact us at 612-625-4221 or support@urolithcenter.org.

What are the advantages of setting up an online account? 
Clinics submitting samples online receive:
*confirmation receipt of sample information
*confirmation of sample receipt at laboratory
*urolith analysis results and recommendations
 
Clinics utilizing online submission can retrieve results online (see question How do I access my results online?)
A packing slip and mailing label are printed for use when shipping samples.
 
What should I do if I forget my password? Click on the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page. A new password will be e-mailed to you.
 
Do we need separate accounts for each doctor in our clinic? No. The system stores a separate ID# for each clinic, not for each doctor name. Each doctor/technican can set up a separate online username and password if they wish, but results will be emailed only to the clinic email set up during initial login. If you wish to change the clinic e-mail address, see Our clinic moved/changed names how do we update our information?.
 
The packing slip did not print, should I reenter the sample?  Please DO NOT re-enter the sample - this will create two records for the same patient sample.  You can either print a copy of the confirmation email, send us a note with the sample submission number, or provide us with a note including your clinic name, patient and owner name and be sure to include the information "SAMPLE SUBMITTED ONLINE".  We will be able to match the sample and online information when it is received in the laboratory. 
Should I submit a handwritten submission form with the sample?  No.  All the information we need in on the system generated packing slip that you print after sample submission.  If you elect to send a submission form - please mark it "SAMPLE SUBMITTED ONLINE".  This way we will know that you have already entered the information and it will prevent us from duplicating this sample.
 
How do I access my results online? Log onto the system at urolithcenter.org, or www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/minnesotaurolithcenter Insert your user e-mail and password. Click on Search/Retrieve. You will be able to access results for all submissions received from your clinic after Jan 18, 2010 (reports can be accessed for several months after finalized). 
I submitted my sample online and cannot find it listed when searching?  Entering less information is better, so try entering the first couple letters of the patients name or the owners name.  If you leave all the fields blank and use the submit button, it will show all samples that have been submitted in the last three months.
How will I know when results are available? For samples submitted online, an e-mail is sent to the e-mail address you provided for the clinic. Results and recommendations will be attached. You can also search for results of samples submitted by your clinic (see question How do I access my results online?)
I can see the sample listed but cannot view results?  When looking at the listing of your resutls it will show a date received R;  and a date analyzed A:.  If no date is listed after the A:, the sample analysis has not been completed.  Please allow 7-12 days for analysis after the sample has been received in our laboratory.  When the analysis is completed a date will be listed after the A:, and a view results link will be shown in the last column.

How will I know if my sample arrived at the lab? For samples submitted online, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you provided for the clinic when the sample is received in our laboratory.
 
Can I access my results if I did not complete the submission form online? Yes (see How do I access my results online?). However, only clinics that submit samples online will receive email notifications of sample receipt and results.

How will I receive Results? For samples submitted online, an e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you provided for the clinic as soon as the results are completed. For those clinics still manually filling out the paper submission form, results and recommendations will be faxed (USA and Canada only)  Results for international clinics without email addresses and USA/Canada clinics without faxes will still be mailed. To improve efficiency, we no longer routinely mail printed copies of reports.  Help sustain our efforts by signing up online to receive results by email.  By creating an account, you will be able to submit sample information, access previous reports, and obtain urolith results by email immediately upon completion.  Set up your online account at urolithcenter.org, or www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/minnesotaurolithcenter

Our clinic moved/changed names how do we update our information? Please fax updated clinic information to 612-626-3226 or email to support@urolithcenter.org.  Please include you old and new clinic information
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Can I access a report from a year ago? Beginning in 2010, results for samples received will be available online for several months after analysis is completed. If you need results for submissions prior to this time, please contact the lab at 612-625-4221
How do I find recommendations? For samples submitted online, recommendations will accompany the urolith analysis report(s) as attachments. To see a complete list of recommendations visit our website www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/MinnesotaUrolithCenter and select “Recommendations” from the left navigation bar. Recommendations for species other than dogs or cats, or recommendations for unusual mineral types may not be available. 
 
What should I do if I have questions on the analysis? Information on interpretation of the various parts of our results (nidus, stone, shell, surface, bands, deposits, etc) can be found by clicking on “What to do while results are pending” on the login page. If you have other questions about the sample analysis report, please contact the lab at 612-625-4221.
What should I do if I have questions about the diet? General diet suggestions can be found on our recommendation sheets. Individual patients may have more specific dietary needs. We suggest you contact your preferred diet manufacturer for information on diets best suited to your patient’s needs. Hill's Veterinary Consultation service (VCS) is available for nutritional counseling and case management.  Consultations are available at 800-548-VETS (8387)or by email at vet_consult@HillsPet.com.

What should I do if I have questions about management of difficult case? For patients with multiple medical issues, we suggest you select a diet designed to address the patient’s serious medical needs first. Additional information can be found at our website www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/MinnesotaUrolithCenter, under “recent publications”. This section details specific urinary issues and management strategies. We suggest you contact your preferred diet manufacturer for information on diets best suited to your patient’s needs. Hill's Veterinary consultation Service (VCS) is available for nutritional counseling and case management.  Consultations are available at 800-548-VETS (8387) or by email at vet_consult@HillsPet.com.

I don’t have a good history on this patient- how do I answer the questions on the online submission form? Complete information by the primary care provider is the best source. The information you fill out on the submission form enables us to provide information regarding epidemiologic trends to our veterinary colleagues. We ask that questions be filled out to the best of your knowledge. If you are not sure of the accurate answer, for most questions, “unknown” is an option.
 
How should the sample be packaged and shipped? Click on “How to submit samples” on the login page. Samples shipped via priority mail or through a shipping company typically arrive sooner than samples sent via US Postal Service. We recommend you ship packages by a carrier that provides tracking information. Tracking provided by the shipping company gives you information on the path of your sample before it arrives in our laboratory. Submissions from outside the USA require shipping through carriers that allow for customs USDA/APHIS inspections (See “How to submit samples” on the login page).
How long before I receive results? Turnaround time depends on complexity of sample and volume of samples received in our lab. Typically, turnaround time is 12-14 days.
 
I have multiple stones; do I need to submit them all? We advise always submitting the largest stone, and a representative portion of sizes, shapes, and colors. If uroliths were retrieved from different parts of the urinary tract; (e.g. kidney and bladder), send them in separate containers, identified with the source. All uroliths within a patient may or may not be composed of the same mineral type.
 
How small of a sample can be analyzed? In most cases, if you can see the sample, we can analyze it. (Generally the size of a poppy seed). Please write TINY SAMPLE on the packing slip accompanying the sample.
 
Can I cancel the analysis? We would prefer to analyze the sample, as it contributes epidemiological information to our database. As we do not bill for our services, cost to the owner is not a consideration.
 
Should I send the sample in formalin? NO. Formalin can interfere with analysis, dissolve samples, and may alter crystalline structure.
 
The sample was accidentally put in formalin, what do we do now? If a sample is accidentally put in formalin and has not dissolved, you can remove the sample from formalin and allow to dry. Please note on the submission form that the sample has been in formalin. Sample analysis may be delayed due to inappropriate submission methods.
 
Can I submit choleoliths, sialoliths, and enteroliths for analysis? Samples from these locations may be submitted to our laboratory, but please allow additional time. Please use the urolith submission form and enter the exact location of the sample under “source”. If necessary, we utilize collaborating colleagues to assist in analysis of mineral types.
 
Can I submit samples from species other than dogs and cats? We are unable to analyze samples from primates or humans. We are able to accept samples from all other species, if submitted from colleagues in the United States. Be sure to provide detailed species identification on the submission form. To comply with international regulations, submissions from clinics outside the United States must only be from approved species. See “Shipping from outside the USA” on the How to Submit page.
 
Does the Minnesota Urolith Center provide mailers, containers or prepaid mailing labels? We are currently unable to provide containers or prepaid mailers. Any shipping, duties, or customs inspection charges are the responsibility of the shipper.
 
How can the Minnesota Urolith Center perform this analysis at no cost to the clinic or patient? Our urolith analysis service is supported in part by a generous educational gift from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. This is a unique partnership, committed to advancing knowledge to provide the best patient care. Other vital support comes from contributions by veterinarians and pet owners worldwide. To contribute to our efforts, access our University of Minnesota webpage at www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/MinnesotaUrolithCenter. Click “Make a Gift” on the left hand navigation bar.

 

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