Clinical Pathology Update
CBC and chemistry evaluation are the most commonly performed diagnostic tests and proper sample handling is critical to accurate results. A common problem is sample aging, which causes cell lysis, release of cellular contents, and consumption of some analytes. Hemolysis also interferes directly with instrumentation and produces unreliable values. Samples that are greater than 48 hours old are not suitable for laboratory analysis. Degeneration of crystals and bacterial overgrowth can also occur quickly in urine and immediate in-clinic evaluation may be different than laboratory findings.
Owing to our commitment to excellent quality and in accordance with accreditation guidelines, as of January 2017 blood samples in EDTA or heparin that are older than 48 hours will not be accepted for evaluation. Similarly, serum that is not separated from the clot will be also be disallowed. Serum separated from the clot tube is the required sample for endocrinology assays including cortisol measurements, ACTH, thyroid hormones, etc... Samples collected using SST tubes are not acceptable as the gel interferes with accurate results. Please collect serum in red top tubes without additives and submit the centrifuged serum removed from the clot. In order to receive appropriate reference intervals, please mark plasma samples. This new policy will give you the most accurate results possible that help you provide the best patient care.
Miniature Schnauzer Renal Disease Study
An award from the Gray Lady Foundation is being used by the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to conduct urine testing free of charge in Miniature Schnauzers in order to identify proteinuric animals that could have Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and would potentially benefit from early treatment to slow its progression. For more information contact
Dr. Cathy Brown (email@example.com or 706-542-5568)
A urine protein to creatinine ratio (UPC) will be determined on each urine sample. If the UPC is elevated, a sediment analysis will also be performed to rule-out a urinary tract infection, inflammation, or hemorrhage as a cause of the proteinuria.
1. Please include this submission form
2. Urine can be collected via cystocentesis, catheterization, or voided free catch
3. Submit in a 10 ml clot (red top – no SST) tube, plastic cups with screw-on lids or plastic conical tubes
4. A minimum volume of 3 ml is preferred; smaller volumes may suffice if a urinalysis is not required
5. Refrigerate samples. Ship with a cold pack via our courier , overnight UPS with a discounted shipping label or Fed Ex to Dr. Cathy Brown at the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (501 D.W. Brooks, University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602)
Between December 2014 and June 2015, an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) occurred in the Pacific Northwest and the Mid-western states, infecting a total of 211 commercial and 21 backyard poultry premises and resulting in the destruction of 49.6 million birds. To date, efforts to eradicate the outbreak have cost federal taxpayers over $950 million. Although no new cases have occurred since mid-June 2015, experts believe the disease could recur in the fall or winter of 2015 as waterfowl – the natural reservoir of the HPAI virus – migrate south. The state of Georgia could be affected if waterfowl in the Atlantic flyway become contaminated.
Role of the Laboratory:
The key to rapidly stamping out the virus and limiting its economic impact is quick detection. In coordination with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network (GPLN), the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in Athens and Tifton have developed an emergency testing plan. Based on experiences from other states, the resources of the two UGA laboratories will be needed to supplement those of the GPLN Lab in Gainesville in the event of an HPAI outbreak.
Role of poultry owners and veterinarian:
It is important that the first case(s) of HPAI be detected as soon as it occurs in our state. The index case is more likely to occur in backyard flocks than in commercial flocks. Poultry owners and veterinarians who see backyard flocks need to be alert for possible signs of the disease, which are variable and include: reduced activity, lack of coordination, respiratory signs (nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing), swelling and purple discoloration of the combs or wattles, hemorrhages on the unfeathered parts of legs and feet, and diarrhea, and rapid death. We recommend that birds that die after showing any combination of the above clinical signs should be tested for avian influenza.
What to submit for testing:
The GPLN has distributed sampling kits to commercial poultry owners, with instructions on how to collect and submit samples from sick and dead birds for HPAI testing. If you are a backyard flock owner and your chickens show any signs suggestive of avian influenza, call the GPLN Avian Influenza Hotline (770-766-6850) for help in collecting and submitting samples for testing. If you are a veterinarian seeing a bird or flock that exhibits signs consistent with avian influenza, either submit freshly dead birds (if any) or a tracheal/oropharyngeal swab in 3 ml of BHI broth (sampling kits are available from the GPLN). Note that dry swabs or swabs placed in other types of media are not acceptable. When in doubt, call the Avian Influenza Hotline (770-766-6850) for help. While the UGA Athens and Tifton laboratories conduct avian influenza testing, the GPLN hotline is your best source of information on proper collection and submission of samples for HPAI testing.
Athens and Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories are now accepting BVD-PI ELISA testing directly from producers.
Everything you need to collect, package, and ship your BVD samples. Call us for your FREE kit today!
Your first testing kit will include:
• 1 ear notcher
• 50 sample tubes and submission bags
• Submission forms
• Permanent markers
• Reduced price UPS labels
For BVD persistently infected animals:
• Collect ear notch samples into individually labeled capped tubes.
• Complete enclosed submission form.
• Ship with ice packs to the lab using one of our provided, discounted UPS labels.
- Learn more about BVD and the risk to your herd at: Bovine Viral Diarrhea
UPDATE: As of July 14, 2015, the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has tested 293 dogs for Canine influenza virus (CIV), resulting in 88 confirmed positives (30%) and 5 suspect. The first positive cases originated in Metro-Atlanta, but recently positive cases have also been detected in a few other counties outside that area. So far all 2015 positive cases in Georgia that have undergone additional testing have been identified as the new H3N2 strain.
On Friday, May 15th the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory identified its first positive case of Canine influenza in Georgia. There is evidence to suggest that the H3N8 strain of canine influenza virus first entered Georgia's dog population around 2005. The recent patient presented with coughing, fever, lethargy, anorexia and was up to date on DHLPP, Rabies and Bordetella vaccinations. It was reported that the affected canine had recently been in contact with other dogs at a Metro-Atlanta boarding facility. The influenza A virus we detected will be further typed to determine whether it is the well-established canine influenza strain (H3N8) or the new H3N2 strain that has recently been reported. The typing results will be available by Wednesday May 20th.
It is important to note that signs of Canine influenza virus infection are similar to those caused by more well-known pathogens of kennel cough and include cough, runny nose, fever, and lethargy. Because many viral and bacterial agents can cause canine respiratory disease, we recommend that dogs exhibiting upper respiratory illness should be tested for multiple agents in order to identify the exact cause. Our laboratory offers a canine respiratory PCR test panel, which includes tests for Influenza A (i.e., all type A influenza viruses including the old and new canine strains), Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma spp, Canine adenovirus-2, Canine distemper, and Canine coronavirus. We also offer a feline respiratory PCR test panel, which includes: Feline herpesvirus, Chlamydophila felis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma, Influenza A, and Feline calicivirus. Two identical deep nasal swabs are the samples of choice and should be placed in a sterile red-top tube with a few drops of sterile saline and shipped cold (ice packs) for priority overnight delivery. We can also test post-mortem respiratory tissues (lung and trachea). Samples can be submitted through our courier in the Greater Atlanta Area, or with our prepaid UPS shipping labels from anywhere.
Information Links:Veterinarian Resources Client Resources National Surveillance Data
Recommended testing for suspicious cases:
Canine Respiratory PCR Panel
Please call us at 706-542-5568 with any other questions, to request a discounted shipping label, or visit us online at ugavetlab.org for additional information.
For more about PED, please review the following links:
Starting Feb. 16, the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be using the VITEK®2 to systematically provide you with MIC values for all pathogenic bacteria isolates. This will help you determine the best drugs to prescribe for treating the organisms.
Four panels are available:
You get BETTER, FASTER diagnostics at NO additional cost!
Note: Extended range urine MICs are still available upon request ($18 cost). VITEK®2 tests are not available for Food Animals, Exotics/Fish and Eye illnesses.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.542.5568.
Call the Environmental Health Office in the county where the bite occurred. Download the list of County Environmental Health Office numbers (PDF).
The county’s Environmental Health Office completes a bite incident report in a new program called SENDSS (State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System). They also make arrangements to send the animal/head/brain, along with the SENDSS report, to the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory for Rabies testing free of charge.
More questions? Call the Georgia Department of Public Health at 404.327.7900
The Athens and Tifton Laboratories are not public health laboratories and our results are not definitive in rabies bite cases. You must call the county where the bite occurred. NOTE: Rabies exposure, not involving a bite, is very rare and involves contact of saliva or brain matter of an infected animal with scratches, abrasions, open wounds or mucous membranes.
The UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Athens conducted a necropsy on a single puppy that was reported to have ingested Trifexis. Based on this single case, we do not have any information regarding the toxicity, or lack thereof, of this drug. Pet owners or veterinarians who want to report an adverse reaction to an approved drug should report the problem directly to the drug’s manufacturer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Elanco, which manufactures Trifexis, has created a phone hotline for consumers: 888-545-5973. Click here to read a statement released by Elanco on Nov. 11, 2013.
Veterinarians with questions may contact Elanco Chief Veterinarian Dr. Steve Connell at 317-433-5488 or email@example.com
-- Posted Nov. 13, 2013
(Athens, Ga.) — The University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, located in Athens and Tifton, are collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network to evaluate diagnostic samples from companion animals in suspect cases of exposure to contaminated foods or drugs, to help protect human and animal health.
On May 16, 2014, the FDA released an update to its ongoing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths associated with jerky pet treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. Since 2007, the FDA has investigated over 4,800 reports of pet illnesses related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. As of May 1, 2014, more than 5,600 dog cases, 24 cat cases, 3 human cases, and more than 1,000 canine deaths have been reported. So far, no specific cause has been determined for these illnesses. For more information click here.Investigation
The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is partnering with other government agencies, such as the CDC, and member laboratories of the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), such as the Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, to investigate jerky pet treat illnesses nationwide. In this regard, we will conduct FDA-approved and FDA-paid testing on jerky pet treats, animal specimens, or entire pet carcasses as part of the investigation. If you suspect your pet has become ill as a result of eating jerky pet treats, report the case through the FDA Safety Reporting Portal (or call the FDA at 1.240.276.9300). You must obtain FDA pre-approval prior to submitting suspect jerky pet treats, sick animal samples, or dead animals to us through your veterinarian.What to look for in your pet
Pets that have consumed potentially contaminated jerky treats may exhibit the following symptoms within hours to several days following consumption: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and increased urination.Information to be provided to the FDA and/or to your veterinarian should include