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Frequently Asked Questions|Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory

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Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory
University of Wyoming
1174 Snowy Range Road
Laramie, WY 82070
Phone: (307) 766-9925
Toll Free: 1-800-442-8331
Fax: (307) 721-2051
Email: wlaegrei@uwyo.edu
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the WSVL mission?

The mission of the Department of Veterinary Sciences and Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory is to provide accessible, timely, accountable, and accurate diagnostic services, animal disease research, & education to veterinarians, students, others interested in animal health, and the people of Wyoming.


How does the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory assure the quality of its results?

The concept and practice of "Quality" in modern veterinary laboratories is essential for producing results in a reliable and efficient manner.  The quality of results from the laboratory depends on the quality control of the testing laboratory. The outcome is significantly influenced by many pre analytical and post analytical factors. A good system addresses these concerns, with objectives such as improvement in diagnostic quality, production of reliable and reproducible results, establishment of inter-laboratory testing comparability, promotion of credibility of the laboratory among patients, doctors, other institutions, collaborators, accrediting/regulatory bodies, motivation of staff for further improvement and preclusion of poor results which could cause legal complications.

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) has administered an accreditation program for state-funded veterinary diagnostic laboratories since 1969. Administrative and scientific personnel of accredited diagnostic laboratories serving on the Accreditation Committee of the AAVLD conduct site visits to laboratories seeking accreditation. The Accreditation Committee of the AAVLD is the ruling body for determining the accreditation status of laboratories, and follows written guidelines in assessing compliance and physical capabilities to make accreditation decisions.


What types of samples or specimens does the WSVL analyze?

The Wyoming State Veterinary laboratory analyzes a variety of samples from animals, their feeds and environments. Specimens that are tested range from an entire carcass for necropsy (animal autopsy) to tissues and/or blood samples from animals that may be diseased or require a health-related test or screen. Samples can include blood, serum, tissues, biopsies, feeds, water, bedding, and others related to animal health. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory also tests animals for rabies. Please see our Client Services for more information about the WSVL testing service.


What general types of analyses does the WSVL perform on these samples?

The laboratory is a full service laboratory serving all species of animals. Analyses include necropsy, histopathology (reading biopsies and examination of necropsy specimens), microbiology, virology, parasitology, clinical pathology, toxicology, and genetics testing. The WSVL also operates a State-Federal Cooperative program to provide for regulatory testing that is requested within the state (e.g. brucellosis testing and EIA testing ("Coggins test")). This unit maintains contacts with other accredited laboratories to provide for unusual or rare testing outside this program. For a complete list of the WSVL testing and fees, please see our Client Services.


Who may send samples to the WSVL for testing?

The WSVL tests samples submitted by veterinarians, the Wyoming Livestock Board and State Veterinarian, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, livestock producers, and animal owners. The WSVL provides services for the State Department of Health (rabies, plague culturing, assistance with other diseases common to animals and humans) and USDA APHIS Area Veterinarian in Charge (Foreign Animal Disease Investigations and eradication programs). Although not essential, we strongly encourage animal owners to work through their veterinarian when they want to submit samples. If interested in laboratory services please see our WEB site.


How do samples get to the WSVL?

Samples are submitted to the WSVL by mail, overnight courier services and by personal delivery. Samples must be accompanied by a completed accession submission form that indicates the tests desired, billing and reporting detials, and a complete history of the problem being encountered. For a copy of the Accession form, please call the WSVL at 1-800-442-8331. Proper packaging is essential for couriers to accept the samples. Samples must be properly preserved either in fixative (for histology) or chilled. Samples should be individually wrapped, and then placed in a secondary container to limit spills. If you have questions about proper packaging of samples, please contact the laboratory at the above number or check the WEB.


Who collects the samples that are analyzed at the WSVL?

Generally, the submitting person (veterinarian usually, WGFD, or livestock producer) collects the samples. The WSVL will cooperate in investigating major disease outbreaks in the field on the request of local practitioners, the State Veterinarian, producer or wildlife manager. Suspected foreign animal diseases (FADS) such as vesicular stomatitis MUST be reported to the USDA Area-veterinarian-in-charge. These diseases are handled federally. We generally do not test FAD suspects.


Is there a fee for WSVL services?

Yes, since the Wyoming is not a socialist state the WSVL charges for its services. Fee income provides for 40% of the total WSVL budget and 80% of operational budget. Please see the WEB, contact the laboratory at 1-800 442-8331, write us at WSVL, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070, or contact your local veterinarian for a testing and fee list.


How can I contact the laboratory or find out more information about the WSVL?

The WSVL can be called at (800) 442-8331 or (307) 766-9925. Our FAX number is (307) 721-2051. Our mailing and shipping address is: WSVL, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070.


Who uses the data the laboratory generates and for what purpose?

Veterinarians and producers use the data to diagnose disease and other health related issues in both wild and domestic animals. Although maintenance of client confidentiality is fundamental for the WSVL and we successfully worked with the 2004 legislature to ensure the confidentiality of client reports, there are exceptions. If a foreign animal disease is suspected, the laboratory works closely with the State Veterinarian to provide information to the USDA's Area Veterinarian in Charge's office. The laboratory will report findings related to public health (rabies, plague, tularemia, Q fever and salmonellosis) to the Wyoming Department of Health. The laboratory collect summary data and use case materials to augment our research and extension mission. The latter effort, however, is done in such a manner as to avoid breaking the patient-client confidence.


How many cases per year (requests for service) and how many tests per year are tested by the WSVL?

The WSVL worked on 12,748 cases and provided 62,636 assays during calendar year 1999. Please see annual reports for additional data.


How many professional/technical and administrative/clerical positions does the WSVL utilize?

The WSVL had a multidisciplinary faculty of 10 individuals including a director. Sixteen staff and clerical positions serve the laboratory. In addition, the laboratory employs over 20 undergraduate student staff, most of them in the preveterinary program at the University of Wyoming.


What kind of faculty professionals are employed in your laboratory and what college degree types are preferred?

The WSVL has a multidisciplinary faculty with expertise in pathology, parasitology, microbiology, immunology, virology, toxicology, and epidemiology. All faculty members have a PhD in their specialty and most are board-certified and/or are DVMs (qualified veterinarians). Many of the technical staff has a Masters degree in the appropriate specialty (parasitology & virology) or are certified in their specialty (histotechnology).


Is prior training or professional certification a requirement for employment in the WSVL?

Staff members must be certified, or are asked to develop certification credentials, in their area of expertise if such programs are available. Appropriate prior training in individual disciplines is usually a requirement for staff in different disciplines.


What is the source of WSVL funding?

The WSVL receives funding through the University of Wyoming, fee income, USDA APHIS support for regulatory testing, and grants and contracts.


What other activities are undertaken by the WSVL?

The WSVL is an integral part of the Department of Veterinary Sciences within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In addition to providing diagnostic services, faculty and staff are engaged in research, undergraduate and graduate teaching, and extension work. The major focus for our scholastic efforts deal with diseases and health of livestock, wildlife and companion animals. The laboratory strives to continually modernize testing techniques and efforts. Current test development efforts are centered on expanding the range of molecular diagnostic tests available for infectious diseases.


Who collaborates with WSVL?

Collaborations are encouraged. WSVL research and diagnostic efforts result from collaboration with other diagnostic laboratories, veterinary schools, the USDA ARS Arthropod Disease Research Laboratory, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, other state wildlife agencies and authorities, and other researchers and teaching programs within the University of Wyoming.


Is training available for veterinarians at WSVL?

The laboratory does not operate a veterinary school. However, a preceptorship in wildlife medicine and pathology is available to especially motivated senior-level veterinary students and graduate veterinarians. For more information, please contact the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the WSVL at (307) 766-9925.

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