Tests


Standard Necropsy

Includes post-mortem examination, histopathology (if required), culture of up to 3 tissues (at the pathologist’s discretion) and carcass disposal of one animal. The cost of other ancillary testing is not included. The case pathologist will contact the referring veterinarian before proceeding with testing that would incur additional expense. Cosmetic necropsy is not offered.  TAT is 5-10 business days, but a gross report will be issued within 24 hours of the post-mortem examination. 

Additional animals from the same owner/producer, age group and clinical syndrome submitted within 1 business day of each other will be examined at a reduced fee.

Fetal Necropsy

Includes post-mortem examination of up to 3 fetuses/event, histopathology (if required), culture of up to 3 tissues (at the pathologist’s discretion) and carcass disposal. The cost of other ancillary testing is not included. The case pathologist will contact the referring veterinarian before proceeding with testing that would incur additional expense. TAT is 5-10 business days, but a gross report will be issued within 24 hours of the post-mortem examination.

Field Necropsy

This fee includes histopathology and culture for up to 3 tissues (at the pathologist’s discretion) for 1 animal. The cost of other ancillary testing is not included. The case pathologist will contact the referring veterinarian before proceeding with testing that would incur additional expense. Submissions must include post-mortem findings and list of differentials to direct testing. Digital photographs are encouraged. TAT is 3-5 business days.

Biopsy

Includes histopathology and special histochemical stains for one or multiple sites. The cost of immunohistochemistry is not included. TAT is 2-3 business days.

Bacterial Culture and Sensitivity

This includes aerobic and anaerobic culture plus susceptibility testing for one organism when possible and appropriate, not all organisms isolated will contribute to a disease process. Includes a direct smear examination when appropriate. TAT is 2 – 5 business days.

Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing

For additional susceptibility testing of a significant organism isolated from a sample.  TAT is 1 – 3 business days.

Fungal Culture

Includes culture and direct examination.  TAT is 5 – 15 business days.

Cytology

Includes the examination and interpretation of fine-needle aspirates, impression smears, blood smears, urine sediment, fluid samples (joint taps, transtracheal wash, bronchoalveolar lavage, body cavity effusions) and bone marrow. TAT is 1 - 3 business days.

Notes: CSF is not accepted.  Samples for full biochemistry, CBC, or urinalysis are not accepted. TAT may be longer in the Summer.


Alberta Supported Livestock Diagnostics

FAQs

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.