Bone Marrow Fat Percentage in Large Animals

Preferred Sample

Bone marrow (femur), about 30 grams



Acceptable Samples

Bone marrow (humerus), about 30 grams


Days Tested


Turnaround Time

15-20 days


Estimate of residual fat in bone marrow using an air dry technique.


Bovine | Equine | Ovine | Caprine | Wildlife Exotic

Shipping Requirements

Place sample in a zip lock bag, seal well, keep refrigerated and send on ice-pack. Prevent damage during transit by placing in a solid container.

Additional Instructions

Typically, normal large animals have more than 80% fat in bone marrow and animals suspected of death by starvation have less than 20% residual fat. The assay provides support to observations made by veterinarians and pathologists of fat atrophy in organs and death by starvation.

If animals die in the winter and freeze, intact femur bone can provide adequate bone marrow for analysis for months after death as long as carcasses are frozen. If veterinarians have difficulty removing bone marrow from the femur, the entire femur can be submitted to the lab and the lab will remove the bone marrow, please call the lab in this case.

Please submit about 30 grams of bone marrow from the medullary cavity (no medullary bone). Young animals may have a smaller sample volume. If necessary, sample both femurs to acquire enough bone marrow.