WVDL Well Represented at AAVLD Meetings

WVDL Professional Staff to Speak at AAVLD Meetings

Multiple members of the WVDL team will be attending and speaking at the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) in Kansas City, Missouri this week.

AAVLDlogo If you are at the meeting, stop by and say hello!

Three talks will be presented at the QA and Laboratory  Technology Committee Joint Symposium.  Quality Manager Kristin Zuzek will present “Q-Pulse Wizard/Workflow Managing New Test Development.” Dr. Kathy Toohey-Kurth, section head of the WVDL virology lab, will present “Verification: Coxiella burnetii ELISA Evaluation” and “De Novo Validation for a Real-time PCR Assay.”

Veterinary pathologist Dr. Melissa Behr will be speaking about Treatment-associated lesions of cattle and Astrovirus encephalitis in mink with co-authors Kathy Toohey-Kurth, WVDL microbiologist Jennifer Cooper and WVDL veterinary microbiologist Dr. Don Sockett.

WVDL section head of bacteriology, Dr. Ogi Okwumabua will be presenting “Isolation of a novel Campylobacter Species from Bovine Genital Sample” with co-authors microbiologists Molly MacNab, Kathy Strelow and Beth Angell.

In addition to co-authoring Dr. Behr’s presentation, Sockett will also be speaking about sodium toxicity in pre-weaned dairy replacement heifers.

Dr. Scott Jones Retires After 30 Years at WVDL

Dr. Scott Jones Diagnostic Pathologist and Supervisor, Barron Lab DVM, Michigan State Univ., 1978

Dr. Scott Jones
Diagnostic Pathologist and Supervisor, Barron Lab
DVM, Michigan State Univ., 1978

Dr. Scott Jones Retires From WVDL

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Jones on his retirement from the WVDL.  Dr. Jones served as the Barron Laboratory Supervisor for 30 years.

Dr. Jones became a member of the WVDL staff in April of 1984.  Prior to taking the job at the WVDL, he worked for Jerome Foods investigating poultry disease and production problems and also for the Virginia Diagnostic Lab, where he worked in both regulatory testing and handled all necropsies for the lab.  Jones worked in a large-animal practice in Markesan, Wisconsin for seven years which included mostly dairy herd health and some production medicine. He obtained his DVM from Michigan State (1978) and did his pathology training at Minnesota (1987-92).

During his time with WVDL, Dr. Jones brought avian expertise and contributed to the expansion of commercial poultry testing capabilities.  Dr. Jones’ shared practical hands on knowledge for management, disease prevention and diagnosis for commercial and back yard flock as well as bovine based operations via client consultation and outreach.

Dr. Jones enjoys being outdoors and will spend his retirement working with his bird dogs, fishing and enjoying his garden.

Thank you Dr. Jones, for your service and best wishes for a happy retirement!

The TOXI-LAB Test Has Been Discontinued

The TOXI-LAB Test Has Been Discontinued

As of 05/28/14, WVDL no longer offers the TOXI-LAB test code.  Instead, we will perform all drug tests on the  GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) for volatile drugs or LC/MS (Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) for non-volatile drugs.  Please see the chart below for a list of test codes to use in the future for various types of mass spectrometry screens:


Analyte of Interest Test Name/Test Code to Use Price (in-state) Price (out-of-state)
  • Household and veterinary drugs (e.g. acetaminophen, barbituates)
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00      $165.00
  • Drugs of abuse (e.g. PCP, methadone)
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00       $165.00
  • Organophosphate Pesticides
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00       $165.00
  • Organochlorine Pesticides
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00       $165.00
  • Carbamate Pesticides
Carbamate Screen/CARBLC      $66.00       $99.00
  • Chlorophenoxy Herbacides
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00       $165.00
  • PCBs*
Mass Spectroscopy Screen/MASS-SPEC      $110.00       $165.00
  • Other pesticides
Call lab    
  • Other drugs
Call lab    

*Although PCB analysis does not use a mass spectrometer detector, the test code is the same as for other mass spectrometry screens. Please call the Chemistry/Toxicology section with any questions: 800 608 8387 ext. 3215

NEW WVDL Shipping Program

WVDL Shipping Program

We have partnered with UPS to provide a discounted shipping option for sending samples to the lab. There are many advantages to this program. It is affordable, efficient, and consistent. Shipping labels can be emailed or printed and sent to you. The  charges will be added to your account and billed on your end of the month invoice. There are three different options available:

  1. UPS Ground – $7.00 each-Any weight or point of entry.  This is the best choice for Wisconsin and surrounding clients. It is a very affordable and  reliable method. See the map below to see the next day zone for ground. You may also  check your zip code for delivery to WVDL CLICK HERE
  2. UPS 2nd day Air– $10.00 each-Any weight or point of entry.
  3. UPS Next Day Air– $14.00 each-Any weight or point of entry. Usually arrives in the morning, time of day guarantee is dependent on package origin location


For more in-depth information please see our new shipping page HERE

Dr. Cindy Bell Helps Fill the Need for Small-flock Poultry Education.

Dr. Bell’s Knowledge of Poultry Benefiting Many


Dr. Cindy Bell Diagnostic Pathologist DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2008 Diplomate ACVP

Dr. Cindy Bell
Diagnostic Pathologist
DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2008
Diplomate ACVP

Dr. Cindy Bell does double duty.  Here at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, she is a Diagnostic Pathologist. She is also a Co-Director and Principal Pathologist at the Center for Comparative Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and a Clinical Instructor at the  UW- School of Veterinary Medicine.  Small-flock poultry pathology is one of her many interests.

As the popularity of urban backyard flocks has risen, so has the demand for veterinarians who know about poultry.  Dr. Bell says, “While I’m not exactly a poultry expert, I do have a passion for educating veterinarians about poultry diseases.”   She has worked with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) to keep practicing veterinarians fresh on the topic of poultry.  An upcoming small flock workshop will be hosted by DATCP in Madison on March 25th.

This past fall, Dr. Bell developed an elective poultry course at UW-Madison SVM that addressed small flock health.

Read more here https://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/checking-on-chickens/


Dr. Thomas McKenna Completes Term as AAVLD President

Past AAVLD president Dr. Thomas McKenna 'Passes the Torch' to

2013 AAVLD president Dr. Thomas McKenna ‘Passes the Torch’ to Dr. Catherine Barr who will serve as the association’s president in 2014.

McKenna’s Term as AAVLD President Ends

Dr. Thomas McKenna, Director of WVDL, has completed his year-long term as President of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) in 2013.  As part of his four-year stint as a member of the AAVLD Executive Board, he served as President-Elect in 2012 and as Vice President in 2011.  As the Immediate Past President, 2014 will be his final year as a member of the Executive staff.

The AAVLD is a professional organization which disseminates information relating to the diagnosis of animal diseases, while also coordinating diagnostic activities of regulatory, research and service laboratories.  The organization acts as a consultant to the United States Animal Health Association and is part of a cooperative effort that makes up The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

Dr. McKenna transferred the role of President to Dr. Catherine Barr at the Presidents’ Dinner of this year’s AAVLD Annual Meeting. Barr is the quality assurance and safety manager at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in Amarillo.   The Presidents’ Dinner is the marquee event of the Annual Meeting, where AAVLD and NAHLN recognize excellence in the world of veterinary medicine.

McKenna offered some thoughts about the Annual Meeting, the two associations and his year as President of AAVLD during the Presidents’ Dinner.  Over 500 people attended this year’s dinner as awards were handed out and attendees shared in the highlights of the last year.

Winter and Extreme Cold notification

Winter and Extreme Cold notification

Winter and extreme cold came early to Wisconsin this year.  As a result, caloric requirements of young calves increase dramatically. Feeding calves milk or milk replacer more than two times a day, if possible, helps provide additional calories. In addition, calf jackets help to mitigate the effects of extreme cold. Sick calves are especially susceptible to starvation in this weather.

The extreme cold weather also affects samples sent to WVDL, especially blood tubes and formalinized tissues, which can be damaged by a hard freeze. This may affect the ability of the lab to run the requested testing. Please see the helpful hints below, provided by WVDL Specimen Receiving staff.

Helpful shipping hints:

  1.  If possible, try to avoid shipping on Fridays and before the holidays. This will help prevent samples from prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.
  2.  Use foam insulated shippers. They help protect specimens from extremely cold temperatures.

Stay warm and happy holidays from WVDL!



The Importance of Sample Integrity

A Discussion on Sample Integrity

You might imagine that we’ve seen all sorts of interesting and unexpected “samples” come into WVDL through the mail.  However, we aren’t miracle workers. We can’t, for example, analyze a dried drop of blood on the tip of a Q-tip, nor can we extract the DNA from the ashes of a canine.  Its easy to have unrealistic expectations with all the CSI programs on TV.

So, in order to avoid you, our client, paying for shipping only to have us call and break the news that the sample(s) we received is either insufficient in quantity or unsuitable for the test ordered, we thought we’d take a moment to go over a few pointers on sample integrity:

1)     When in doubt…please call us!  If you’re not sure what to send or how much, just contact the lab.  It could save everyone a headache later on, and save you from mailing samples to us twice.

2)     Refer to our website for general guidelines on the quantity and type of sample required for each test (click on the hyper-linked title of the test of interest).

3)     Please be sure to send sufficient quantity of sample.   If the amount we receive is too little, we may not be able to test the sample.

4)     If using an anticoagulant tube (e.g. lavender-top EDTA, or green-top heparin tube) invert the sample and mix well immediately after sampling!  Failure to do so can cause clotting, therefore risking sample rejection.

5)     Avoid hemolysis.  If possible, spin blood immediately and remove the serum from the clot before shipping.

Please take the time to ensure good sample quality and sufficient quantity. The quality of the result is only as good as the quality of the sample!