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Poulsen Appointed Interim WVDL Director

Poulsen Named WVDL Interim Director

Bochsler Steps Down as WVDL Director


Keith Poulsen, WVDL Interim Director

Dr. Phil Bochsler has stepped down as WVDL Director, effective immediately.   The Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory would like to thank Dr. Bochsler for his years of service as the lab director.  He will return to diagnostic pathology at WVDL.

Dr. Keith Poulsen has been appointed Interim Director of WVDL until such time as a permanent Director is hired.  The national search for a permanent Director will start soon.  Dr. Poulsen has most recently held the position of Section Head of Client Services and will continue a joint appointment in Large Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.


Please contact WVDL with any questions.


WVDL Testing Fees to Increase on Oct. 1

WVDL Testing Fee Increase Takes Effect Oct. 1


The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) will raise test fees by 4% beginning October 1.   The Board of Directors approved the increase over the summer as the lab has not had a comprehensive increase in its testing services in four years.

“Not surprisingly and likely similar to your businesses, in order to get the work done our costs of doing business are gradually rising,” said WVDL Director Dr. Phil Bochsler.  “We will continue to strive to keep costs reasonable while producing the best results and service possible.”

Our clients will see that most testing costs were increased 4% across the board, but there are exceptions.  Some tests saw prices remain unchanged or saw increases or decreases in costs that were above or below the 4% figure.

These changes in prices affect only testing services.  Supplies, shipping costs and media costs are NOT part of this price adjustment and those costs will remain unchanged.  Additionally, referral testing or outsourced testing, is not affected by WVDL price increases, since these costs are dependent upon the referral lab’s testing fees.

We appreciate you and your business and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



Wisconsin Poultry Producers and Interstate Movement to Iowa

LPAI Testing for Wisconsin Poultry Producers and Interstate Movement to Iowa

Purpose: The State of Iowa requires serology and PCR testing for avian influenza prior to interstate movement from Wisconsin. WVDL is setting up special testing for Wisconsin poultry producers to facilitate this movement.

Iowa is currently requiring permits for poultry and poultry products from Wisconsin to Iowa and if there are any questions, they should contact Iowa.

Here is a link to their web site:


Test logistics at WVDL:

  1. Serology for antibody: WVDL has the NPIP-approved test for antibody (AGID). This test is performed at the Barron Laboratory ONLY, is a 24-hour test and is set up at 2pm Mon-Thurs.
  2. PCR for virus nucleic acid: WVDL has the NPIP-approved test for AI PCR. This test is performed at the Madison Laboratory ONLY and will be set up on Mon-Fri, once per day, as special runs during the required testing period.

a. Samples must be dropped off in Madison by 10am for same day results for movement of animals the following day (8AM) to fit the requirement of 24 hours from sampling of animals to shipment. Depending on location in Wisconsin, overnight UPS shipping may be allowed for PCR testing. This will increase time to maximum of 36 hours from sampling of birds to shipment and PRODUCERS MUST contact the Iowa State Veterinarian’s office for prior approval.  Dr. David Schmitt (515) 281-8601.

b. Each PCR test (up to 11 swabs per test) will have an expedited testing fee added.

c. Please call ahead for testing so we can be prepared to accommodate your testing needs to the best of our ability.

d. Any NPIP-approved laboratory can be used for PCR testing.  The Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic lab is the next available option. Minnesota runs  PCR Mon-Fri and samples must arrive by 8am.

Testing supplies:

1. Testing supplies can be ordered at Under the drop-down menu from “Submission Guidelines,” click on “Forms” and “Avian Swab Kit for PCR Order Form.”

b.  Directly under the link to this form is a video that demonstrates swabbing birds.

i. NOTE: Testing has been updated since the production of this video and NPIP now allows up to 11 swabs per tube.

2. Shipping labels can be ordered and emailed for $7 overnight ground UPS. See our website for details:

3. Testing and shipping supply orders can be taken over the phone, by fax, or by emailing completed forms to See our website for phone and fax numbers.

WVDL Resumes Pathology Services at Barron Laboratory

WVDL’s Barron Laboratory Resumes Pathology Services

Dr. Holly Taylor Hired to Head Necropsy Service


Holly Taylor, DVM, DACVP

Holly Taylor, DVM, DACVP

Pathology Services Available – We are excited to announce that Pathology services have resumed at the WVDL Barron laboratory as of November 7th, 2016.  Please contact the Barron Laboratory with questions and to schedule necropsies. The Barron location does not accept live animals for necropsy.  Click Here for Contact Information

Welcome to Dr. Holly Taylor – WVDL-Barron would like to welcome Dr. Holly Taylor to our team. Dr. Taylor is from rural Pennsylvania, earning her BS in Animal Bioscience from Penn State (2009) and her DVM from the University of Tennessee (2013).  She completed her specialty training in anatomic pathology at the University of Missouri Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Columbia. Dr. Taylor’s specific areas of interest are bovine infectious diseases and poultry pathology.  Dr. Taylor looks forward to heading the necropsy service in Barron and working with our clients to further support animal health in northwestern Wisconsin.

Dog Owners Be Aware of Clinical Signs For Canine Influenza


photo courtesy of

Canine Influenza on the Rise in the Midwest

Over 1,000 Dogs Have Been Affected in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana

Recently reported in the Chicago area, canine influenza virus (CIV) has affected at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Owners are advised to seek veterinary care for dogs exhibiting clinical signs including cough, nasal discharge, and fever.  A small percentage of dogs will develop more severe clinical signs. This influenza virus is not contagious to humans.

The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory offers testing for Canine Influenza for veterinarians and their clients.  The sample requested is a deep nasal swab with a non-cotton swab.**  Please use Dacron or synthetic swabs.  Break the swab off into viral transport media.  All supplies required can be acquired from the WVDL within 24 hours and shipping is as low as $7 overnight via UPS.

**Samples must be taken within 2 days of onset of clinical signs.  Please contact the WVDL with questions.  608-262-5432  email:

Sample Supplies can be ordered here:

Shipping information can be found here:


Additional resources from the AVMA and CDC can be found here:


Avian Influenza in Backyard Flocks

Bird Flu in Backyard Flocks

What Poultry and Game Bird Owners Should Know


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Recently, highly pathogenic avian influenza (Bird Flu) was found in wild birds in Washington, Oregon, Utah, California and most recently in Minnesota. This virus can also infect poultry commonly found in backyard flocks. The strains were identified as H5N8 and H5N2 and typically do not cause disease in most wild birds but will cause severe disease in gallinaceous birds (domestic poultry and game birds). The strains are described as highly pathogenic because of rapid spread and high mortality in domesticated poultry.

Clinical Signs of Avian Influenza: Owners of poultry and other game birds should be aware of the clinical signs of avian influenza, which are highly variable and include: lack of energy, decreased egg production, nasal discharge, coughing, swelling and discoloration of the head, combs and/or wattles, diarrhea, and neurologic signs such as stumbling.

Minimizing Risk of Infection: The key factor in minimizing risk of infection to domesticated birds is to limit contact with wild birds and migratory wildfowl. Also important is to maintain a clean environment and to avoid sharing tools or supplies with other poultry owners. All purchased birds should originate from a reputable seller.

What to do with suspect cases: Questions about or observation of the above clinical signs or any event of high mortality in a flock should be reported to:

  1. Your local veterinarian
  2. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (608)-224-4876

How to test birds for viral infection: One way to control the disease is by testing birds for the presence of the virus prior to movement, sale or to comply with a surveillance requirement such as those specified in the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP).

The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is fully accredited and equipped with the expertise to test for avian influenza, as well as many other pathogens. The test that is performed is a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This assay can amplify small amounts of viral nucleic acid so it is more readily detected by an instrument. Moreover, the assay is very rapid and can be completed in the same day the sample is received.

Please order supplies for this test by going to our website FORMS page and choosing the choosing the AI Swab Kit for PCR Order Form. The kit contains 6 tubes of broth and swabs with a polyester tip and plastic applicator. An experienced veterinary technician or veterinarian can provide training on how to take the sample.

Click HERE for an instructional video demonstrating proper sampling technique.

For backyard flocks and game birds, each is sampled by swabbing the choanal slit.  Samples from up to 5 birds can be pooled, using a different swab for each bird. After sampling a bird, immerse the swab tip in the tube of broth, gently agitate, squeeze the cotton tip against the side of the tube, then discard the swab. Repeat for each bird sampled. Tightly close the tube and ship with an ice pack. Affix the label identifying this package as an Avian Diagnostic sample. Ship for overnight delivery using our UPS shipping program.

On the supply order form, please indicate the reason for testing (sick birds, surveillance as required by NPIP, or pending sale).

If you have birds with clinical signs consistent with avian influenza, you will be contacted by a WVDL veterinarian to discuss testing.

Please contact the WVDL at anytime with questions.


WVDL Offers PCR and Virus Isolation Testing for EHM

WVDL Offers Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) PCR and Virus Isolation Testing

Several horses have tested positive recently in Va., Tex. and Minn. for EHV-1


This past week three horses with clinical neurologic disease have tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a manifestation of EHV-1 infection, in Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota.  These are all considered separate events and are not linked at this time.


Photo courtesy of

The WVDL has expertise and offers rapid EHM testing in the form of real time PCR. PCR is the most rapid method and in the face of an outbreak, nasal or nasophyarengeal swabs are preferred.  Whole blood EDTA should also be submitted and is tested with swabs for no additional charge.  Optimally, swabs should be shipped in refrigerated viral transport media. In an emergency situation, a swab can be submitted in a few drops of sterile saline.  Post mortem samples are listed on our website.  Viral transport media can be ordered here:

Shipping samples with the WVDL Shipping program is $7 overnight UPS ground from anywhere in Wisconsin and many surrounding counties in MN, IA, MI, and IL.  See the shipping website for details.  Free scheduled pick up at your veterinary office facilitates testing for your clients.

See these links for further information on EHM that can be used for your client education:


Please contact the WVDL with questions about how we can facilitate rapid and cost-effective testing for your clients.


Reliable Results and Exceptional Customer Service



Toxicology Test Changes at WVDL

Test Changes at WVDL

On a regular basis, the WVDL has an exercise to evaluate tests that are completed in house.  Due to the complexity of the assay and the cost of the instrumentation required compared to the demand for testing, several tests are now referred to outside diagnostic laboratories.  These tests include ionophores in feed and anticoagulant assays.

Please contact us at anytime with questions or comments regarding these changes.



Change in Delivery of WVDL Monthly Billing Statements

WVDL Improves Process for Monthly Invoicing of Clients


The WVDL will initiate a more efficient method for delivering monthly billing statements to our clients. This change will start with statements generated on 1 Sept for August 2014 testing. Starting with that billing cycle we will provide statements to our clients using either email or USPS (but not both).

  •  If your clinic has an email address, we will send the statement to that email address. (Email will be our preferred way of providing information to submitters. It is the most reliable and efficient for us.) The statement will be sent to the primary clinic email address. For clinics receiving test results by email, this method of information transfer is already in place, and the change should be seamless.
  •  If clinics do not have an email address, we will send billing statements by USPS.
  •  We will no longer send billing statements by FAX.
  • There will be no change in the process for delivering test results. This change applies only to the sending of monthly billing statements.

If your clinic wants invoices to go to a separate e-mail address (such as an accountant), then you can forward the email message from WVDL to the desired recipient. We have created a mailbox ( to facilitate communication regarding changes of email addresses for billing purposes or for any questions regarding billing statements.

This change in delivery of monthly billing statements improves efficiency and reliability in our internal processes. We believe this change will have minimal impact on you, our clients.

Please contact us if you have comments or questions.



The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) offers high-quality surgical biopsy services with fast turn-around time.

FREE SHIPPING of your biopsy specimens to WVDL is handled by United Parcel Service (UPS) for your convenience. UPS generally provides next-day delivery (WI and 1-day transit zone of map) of your biopsies to WVDL, which improves the turnaround time for biopsy results.  Click HERE and enter your zip code to see the next day zone map for UPS Ground.  You may also check your zip code for delivery to WVDL at

TIME:  Typical turnaround time for biopsy reporting is two working days after receipt of the sample.  Extra time may be needed for cases with special stains (e.g., for microbes) or decalcification (bone, teeth).
FREE KITS:  Biopsy mailing kits are free and available from WVDL.  These kits include:

  • Pre-addressed, pre-paid mailing box (for 1-day transit zone of map), with either one 120-ml formalin vial for large biopsies, or two 30-ml vials for small biopsies (Please specify which formalin container you would like);
  • Zip-lock bag to contain formalin vial(s);
  • Biopsy submission form; and,
  • Upon request, a micro-screen cassette to protect small or fragile biopsies.

FORMS:  Submission forms (Use the form entitled ‘Veterinary Supplies Order Form‘) can also be filled out electronically and printed from our web site,

For more information on this biopsy service provided by WVDL, go to THIS PAGE .

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