Frequently Asked Questions

VOIS Request Form

Alberta Supported Livestock Diagnostics


In partnership with the Government of Alberta, UCVM’s Diagnostic Services Unit is excited to launch a pilot project enhancing livestock diagnostic capacity in Alberta through subsidization of pathology and bacteriology services. This funding will support livestock services until February 2024. Enhanced services will provide affordable, accurate, in-province, livestock diagnostics to rapidly identify endemic, zoonotic, emerging or exotic diseases and shed light on antimicrobial resistance patterns.

The impacts of enhanced livestock diagnostics include more timely diagnoses improving animal health and welfare, protection of public health and food safety, market access, enhanced consumer confidence and the creation of educational material to train future veterinarians in Alberta.

This grant supports the expansion of in-province diagnostic pathology and bacteriology for livestock species in Alberta protecting animal health and welfare, food safety, market access, and public health.

The DSU offers necropsy or post-mortem examination of whole bodies, examination of tissues from field post-mortems, surgical pathology, cytology and clinical bacteriology.  Additional tests required to reach a diagnosis are sent out to other accredited veterinary diagnostic labs.

A necropsy or post-mortem examination determines the cause of death of an animal and informs the management and treatment decisions for the remainder of the herd/flock limiting economic losses.  Necropsies also identify changing disease trends, zoonoses, emerging diseases, and exotic diseases that could threaten market access, food safety or public health.

Bacterial culture and sensitivity guides veterinarians in determining the medical need for antibiotics and prevents the misuse and overuse of antibiotics which are contributing factors in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Yes. This grant provides support for affordable pathology and bacteriology services for qualifying livestock species in Alberta. Please speak with your veterinarian regarding pricing.

Alberta supported services are limited to livestock in Alberta including cattle, swine, sheep, goats, bison, elk, deer, and commercial and small poultry flocks (non-quota, non-commercial flocks).

Yes. The DSU will continue to accept submissions from all animal species. Submissions from animals not eligible for Government of Alberta supported prices will be charged full list price. Please speak with your veterinarian regarding pricing.

No. All diagnostic cases must be submitted by a licensed veterinarian; however, producers are welcome to deliver cases to the DSU following consultation with their veterinarian.

All specimens must be accompanied by a DSU submission form signed by a licensed veterinarian. Samples can be shipped using your courier of choice; couriers deliver to the DSU Monday through Friday (except for holidays) during regular business hours. Do not ship on Fridays or over the weekend.  Submissions may also be dropped off, Monday – Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm (except for holidays).

Information on estimated turn-around-times can be found in our test descriptions.

No. Reports are sent to the submitting veterinarian and the veterinarian is responsible for all communication with producers.

No. Billing goes back through the submitting clinic once a case is finalized and not directly to producers.

Yes. The DSU may share anonymized test results for the purpose of disease surveillance, veterinary research, and education. Contact information is only shared with relevant federal and provincial bodies as required by legislation regarding reportable or notifiable diseases of animal or public health in Alberta.

Yes.  Under the supervision of veterinary professionals, veterinary students may be involved with diagnostic cases, and diagnostic materials directly support student learning.  Diagnostic cases will help to train the next generation of veterinarians in Alberta.