Frequently Asked Questions

Step 3: Mail

Return Shipping To Lab?

All ClueJay pet tests include FREE return shipping to the laboratory. Each test kit includes the return packaging materials and return transport instructions for the appropriate shipping service. The standard return shipping method for ClueJay Stool Tests is USPS First Class at no additional charge from anywhere in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Transit times vary based on distance from customer to ClueJay Vet Labs (CVL), Denver, Colorado. Assume 1-3 business days for USPS First Class within continental U.S.

ClueJay Dog or Cat Stool Tests Level 1, 2, or 3 can be mailed to the lab Monday through Saturday.

Need a ClueJay pet test result FASTER?
Sample processing begins same day it arrives at the lab. Pet owners can optionally choose expedited return transport to the laboratory using the shipping carrier of their choice (e.g., USPS, UPS, FedEx) at their own expense. CVL processes and tests pet samples Mon-Sat with only major holiday exceptions.

If a pet needs a test as soon as possible (ASAP), then please get the pet or sample to the local veterinarian right away.

Stool Tests: Will Sample Stay Fresh?

Yes and no refrigeration is needed. Need details? Read on:

What matters is the integrity (quality) of what is being tested for within the sample. Each test and “targets” of the test are different, so some sample transit times need to be faster (e.g., urine) than others (e.g., stool). Stool O&P (fecal ova and parasite) testing included in ClueJay Dog or Cat Stool Tests Level 1, 2, and 3 screens for intestinal worms. What’s important for this test is not the quality of the stool, but rather the structural quality of the worm eggs (roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm) and spores (coccidia) for accurate microscopic identification.

Worm eggs and coccidia spores are designed to successfully survive decomposing stool in harsh, outdoor conditions. This lifecycle approach has evolved over millennia so they can infect other animals’ days, weeks, or even months later (depending on the parasite type). A few days in the mail isn’t harsh enough to destroy these parasite forms. Thus, stool samples can ship USPS First Class (which keeps lab fees lower) and why sample refrigeration (ice pack) is not necessary.

ClueJay Dog or Cat Stool Tests Level 2 and 3 include Giardia by ELISA. This test looks for proteins (antigen) of Giardia cysts. Cysts are also designed for harsh outdoor conditions and for this testing, the cyst doesn’t even need to be identifiable since the test screens for bits of leftover proteins in the stool. ClueJay Dog or Cat Stool Test Level 3 includes Microbes by PCR, which needs only tiny amounts of DNA (RNA) particles left behind for microbe identification.

There are two practical things to help increase “parasite yield” (finding and identifying any parasites if present). The first is by starting with a fresh stool sample (just or very recently passed by the dog or the cat).

The second is to get some help from science. The blue top test tube in ClueJay Dog or Cat Stool Tests Level 1, 2, and 3 includes the non-hazardous, formalin-free fixative (stabilizing) fluid ParaVetTM. While not required for stool sample submission and testing, ParaVet adds an extra level of assurance in preserving stool parasites during transport to the lab.

If the outdoor temperature is very cold or very hot, consider dropping off the return test box with sample at a local post office (rather than leaving it in your mailbox).

Sample Tracking?

ClueJay pet tests utilize advanced sample tracking technologies. Test tube barcode scanning identifies all samples arriving at ClueJay Vet Labs (CVL), Denver, CO. This scanning automatically triggers an email notification to the pet owner, letting them know that their pet’s sample has arrived at the lab and processing is underway. When any testing is complete, the finalizing of the results automatically triggers an email notification for the pet owner to Sign In and view results.

Additional pet or pet owner information, or test request directions are unnecessary to include with return shipping of samples to the laboratory. The waterproof, double barcode uniquely identifies the test or swab tube(s) and included sample(s). Online activation digitally links the pet, pet owner, and sample(s) together and tells the laboratory which tests to run.

ClueJay tests should be activated online at with the lab fee prior to mailing the sample to the lab. This activation opens specific data entry fields in the pet’s digital report for the laboratory technicians to record test results. Samples that reach the lab without being activated online will not be processed until activated.

Exempt Animal Specimen?

ClueJay pet test return packaging materials and return transport instructions (included in the test box) are designed to comply with United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations. USPS packaging instructions specify that certain animal specimens (e.g., stool, urine, saliva, secretions) transported for routine testing are not subject to regulation as hazardous materials (i.e., they are exempt).

These exempt specimens must be triple packaged for return transport to the lab within a leakproof primary receptacle (test or swab tube), a secondary container (double zip return bag), and rigid outer shipping container (purple return test box). The outer shipping container must be marked on the address side with the words “Exempt animal specimen”. On the return shipping label side of the ClueJay outer shipping container (purple return test box), the following information is printed:

Exempt Animal Specimen:
This package may contain pet samples with non-hazardous solutions and is triple packaged as required by U.S. Postal Regulations.