WVDL to Refer All Mineral and Trace Nutrient Testing to Michigan State

WVDL to Refer All Mineral and Trace Nutrient Testing

Permanent Change to Take Effect April 1


The Chemistry and Toxicology testing section at the WVDL Madison laboratory will refer all mineral and trace nutrient testing to Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. This action is in response to an equipment failure and subsequent decision to not replace this equipment.  Approximately 500 tests per year at WVDL will be affected by this change.

Starting April 1st, 2019, all mineral and trace nutrient testing will be referred to MSU. Michigan State’s published turnaround time is 5 business days for this testing. Clients will be charged the published testing fees located on the MSU website in addition to the $20 referral fee routinely charged for out-sourced testing services.

We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause our clients and invite feedback at any time. If you have any questions regarding this issue please contact the WVDL and ask to speak with a staff member in our Chem/Tox Lab

Keith Poulsen, Director

Equine Colitis Panels Available at WVDL

Equine Colitis Panels are now available at WVDL!

The WVDL has completed the validation of an equine standard colitis rtPCR panel (> 6 months of age) and an equine neonatal colitis rtPCR panel (< 6 months of age).  These panels include the following pathogens.

Equine Standard Colitis Panel includes: Coronavirus, Clostridium difficile toxin A & B, Lawsonia intracellularis, Neorickettsia risticii, Salmonella spp real time PCRs. Cost: $90 in-state/out-of-state

Equine Neonatal Colitis Panel: Coronavirus, Rotavirus, Clostridium difficile toxin A & B, Lawsonia intracellularisSalmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens, Rhodococcus equi, Cryptosporidium spp. Cost: $125 in-state/out-of-state

WVDL Leads the Way in CWD Testing

WVDL a National Leader in CWD Testing

  • A Third of all U.S. States Send Samples to WVDL

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The start of the Wisconsin deer hunting season back on Sept. 15 also signaled the start to the busy Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing season at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL).  The WVDL is at the forefront of CWD testing, establishing itself as the premier lab for this testing in the country.  Nationally, 11 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin) have submitted wild animal samples to WVDL this year for CWD testing.  With just one month remaining in the calendar year, WVDL expects to test upwards of 35,000 wild animals in 2018, with the majority of these samples coming in the last few weeks.

Additionally, 15 states (Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin) submit samples from captive animals to WVDL.  Testing numbers for captive animals are expected to reach 3,500.

Recently Dan Barr, Pathology Sciences Supervisor at WVDL, talked with WKOW-TV news reporter David Johnson on the vital role the lab plays in CWD testing.  Click HERE for that complete story.

CWD is a disease known as a TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) disease.  The WVDL also tests for two other TSE diseases, BSE (7,000 cattle expected to be tested in 2018) and Scrapie (2,000 goats and sheep tested in 2018).



WVDL Names Poulsen Director


Poulsen Named WVDL Director

Keith Poulsen, who had served as the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab’s interim director since March, was named its Director on Sept. 1.  Poulsen initially came to the WVDL  back in 2014, accepting the position as Diagnostic Case and Outreach Coordinator as well as Section Head of Client Services.  For the complete UW release on this appointment,  click here


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: https://www.iowaagriculture.gov/animalIndustry.asp


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 www.wvdl.wisc.edu. Under the drop-down menu from “Submission Guidelines,” click on “Forms” and “Avian Swab Kit for PCR Order Form.”

a.  https://www.wvdl.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/PharyngealSwabKitOrderForm.pdf
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: https://www.wvdl.wisc.edu/index.php/shipping-information/

3. Testing and shipping supply orders can be taken over the phone, by fax, or by emailing completed forms to supplyroom@wvdl.wisc.edu. 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 fivestardogresort.com

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: info@wvdl.wisc.edu

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 Virmont.org

Photo courtesy of Virmont.org

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. https://www.wvdl.wisc.edu/index.php/shipping-information

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. www.wvdl.wisc.edu