Welcome to the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) is a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory offering more than 800 tests in 11 service sections. In the more than 30 years since its inception, MSU VDL has become one of the country's premier veterinary diagnostic laboratories, handling more than 220,000 cases involving approximately 1.5 million tests annually.

The MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is an invaluable professional resource, making quality, trusted, and comprehensive veterinary diagnostics widely available. Income from the laboratory is reinvested in teaching, research, and outreach for the purpose of protecting human and animal welfare domestically and around the world.

Spring 2017 Newsletter
News Archives

Each issue of Diagnostic News, the MSU VDL quarterly newsletter for clients, offers diagnostic- and disease-related information and articles for practitioners, as well as VDL business tips and updates for clinic staff.

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Archives of past newsletters are still available.

MSU VDL Holiday Hours
November 2017
Thursday, 11/23 - Thanksgiving - CLOSED
Friday, 11/24 - University holiday - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
[Clinical Pathology, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.]
Saturday, 11/25 - Regular Saturday hours - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

December 2017
Monday, 12/25 - CLOSED
Tuesday, 12/26 - University holiday - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

January 2018
Monday, 1/1 - CLOSED
Tuesday, 1/2 - University holiday - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

During limited hours on University holidays (11/24, 12/26, 1/2), building access and Client Service telephone lines will be available and our Receiving/Order Entry staff will be working to ensure your incoming specimens are handled promptly and efficiently. Please note that this will impact test schedules throughout the lab.

Thank you for choosing the MSU VDL. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Canine Influenza Testing & Information
November 8, 2017 - Since the outbreak of H3N2 canine influenza virus (CIV) occurred in the Chicago area in the spring of 2015, CIV has been confirmed in several other states including Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan, often resulting in local outbreaks such as the recent cases in Ohio. Additional outbreaks in the coming weeks would not be unexpected due to increases in holiday travel, boarding, and comingling of dogs.

The MSU VDL and other laboratories are voluntarily contributing testing information to provide a more complete picture of H3N2 activity nationwide. This information is available through the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center. Canine influenza is a reportable disease in Michigan and any positive cases within the state must be reported to the State Veterinarian's office.

The MSU VDL can test for influenza A by PCR. This test will detect both of the strains known to infect dogs (H3N8 and H3N2). Based on current data available, positive samples are almost always H3N2 at this point. To request this test, simply write "Influenza A PCR" on the submittal form. Please call us at 517.353.1683 for more information regarding collection protocol, pricing, or with other questions.

Because signs of many infectious respiratory diseases are similar, differential diagnostic testing is needed to identify the specific cause of illness. We encourage clients to consider our canine respiratory disease panel (80984) or the core panel plus (80985) if distemper is also suspected. If influenza is part of a differential diagnosis, the influenza PCR can be performed in addition to the panel for an additional charge.

Dogs can shed viral and bacterial pathogens that cause infectious respiratory diseases during the incubation stage before showing any clinical signs. Testing within the first few days of illness is very important because this shedding is rather limited in duration.

Vaccines are available for both H3N8 and H3N2 CIV. Veterinarians and pet owners are encouraged to include travel and pets' exposures to other settings where animals comingle in their conversations about which vaccinations are appropriate. For those wishing to reduce the number of vaccinations where possible, vaccine titer screening (canine vaccine antibody panel, 80101 and canine vaccine panel + lepto, 95996) is available for assessing immunity status in previously vaccinated animals. These panels include canine distemper, canine adenovirus, and canine parvovirus.

We have also developed a guide to help clinicians educate pet owners about canine influenza. Canine Influenza: Answers for Pet Owners addresses frequently asked questions and can be printed for use in clinics. Contact us to request printed copies.

For additional information, please see the resources below:

Canine Influenza FAQ (AVMA)
Canine Influenza Reference for Veterinarians (AVMA)
Canine Influenza: Pet Owners' Guide (AVMA)
AAVLD Fully accredited by the
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
through December 31, 2022
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