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General Information

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Organisation Reference University of Wyoming, Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory
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This web-link has been created as part of the "Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer and Elk" Wildpro module. Consult the Specific Section References at the end of this page for related links. 


This information has been taken directly from the University of Wyoming, Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory Website:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL)

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.
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 provides testing for rabies. Please see our WEB site for more information about the WSVL testing service.
What general types of analyses does the WSVL perform on these samples?
The laboratory is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) as 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 laboratory also 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 WEB site.
Who may send samples to the WSVL for testing?
The WSVL tests samples for veterinarians, the Wyoming Livestock Board/State Veterinarian, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, livestock producers, and animal owners. The WSVL also 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, for the best results, animal owners are strongly encouraged to work through their local veterinarian. If interested in laboratory services please see our WEB site.
How do samples get to the WSVL?
Samples are submitted to the WSVL in-person and via courier. Samples must be accompanied by a completed accession submission form indicating the testing desired, billing and reporting contacts, and a complete history of the problem or testing desired. 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, WG&F authority, or livestock producer) will collect the samples. The WSVL will investigate a major outbreak in the field on the request of the local practitioner, State Veterinarian, or producer to collect samples.
Is there a fee for WSVL services?
Yes, there are fees associated with WSVL services. Fee income provides for 40% of the total WSVL budget and 80% of operations. 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 1-800-442 8331 or 1-307-742-6638. Our FAX number is 1-307-721-2051. Our mailing and shipping address is: WSVL, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070. We can be located on the World Wide WEB.
Who uses the data your laboratory generates and for what purpose?
Veterinarians and producers use the data to help diagnose disease and other health related issues in both wild and domestic animals. Although maintenance of client confidentiality is a fundamental issue for WSVL, this laboratory is obligated to provide information about cases to the State Veterinarian of Wyoming (Dr. Jim Logan, Cheyenne, WY). If a foreign animal disease is suspected, the laboratory will work closely with the State Veterinarian to provide information to the USDA APHIS Area Veterinarian in Charge's office. In some instances, the laboratory will also report findings related to public health (e.g. rabies) to the appropriate public health authorities. The laboratory also will collect summary data and use case materials to augment our research 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 our annual report 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 the director. Sixteen staff and clerical positions serve the laboratory. In addition, the laboratory employs over 20 undergraduate student staff and provides a venue for both undergraduate and graduate research projects about issues important to the health of Wyoming's domestic and wild animal populations.
What kind of faculty professionals are employed in your laboratory and what college degree types are preferred?
The WSVL has a multidisciplinary faculty representing expertise in pathology, parasatology, microbiology, immunology, virology, toxicology, and extension veterinary service and education. It is preferred that the faculty have a degree in veterinary medicine and/or a PhD degree. Veterinary faculty are encouraged to attain diplomate status (board certification) in their area of veterinary specialty. Please see our WEB page for details about our faculty expertise.
Is prior training or professional certification a requirement for employment in the WSVL?
Yes. 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, at the University of Wyoming. In addition to regular diagnostic services, the faculty and staff is engaged in research and teaching about animal health matters. The major focus for these scholastic efforts is about diseases and other health issues that are common to both Wildlife and Domestic animals. The laboratory also strives to continually modernize testing techniques and efforts. Current test development efforts are centered on expanding immunohistochemistry testing and establishment of polymerase chain reaction testing for virus and other disease antigens.
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, 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 1-307-742-6638.
Dates Referenced March 2003
Contact Details



800-442-8331 (toll-free in Wyoming only)

Donal O'Toole
1174 Snowy Ridge Road, Laramie, WY 82070
WATS: 1-800-442-8331
Fax: 307-721-2051
September - April
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
May - August
 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For CWD:
Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory
1174 Snowy Range Road
WY 82070

Website Address



Administration Donal O'Toole, dot@uwyo.edu

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Specific References (Please note - website addresses change frequently and all references are dated accordingly. If hyperlinks are no longer active, please inform us)

Reference Section of Website Specific Website link
W405.24Mar03.CWD1 Chronic Wasting Disease http://wyovet.uwyo.edu/WSVL/updates/cwd.html

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