Lab Services

Milk Quality Laboratory (Dairy Cow and Goat)

Milk samples are cultured for all common mastitis pathogens; however, the uncommon pathogens are also identified and reported out as well to aid in the treatment of the mastitis event. Culture procedures are performed following the National Mastitis Council guidelines. All contagious bacteria are specifically reported (ie: Streptococcus agalactiae, Stapylococcus aureus and Mycoplasma spp.), and will be followed up with a phone call to ensure quick diagnosis. Quantitative counts are conducted and reported on ALL positive bacteria cultures to aid in treatment and prognosis of your dairy animal. Special procedures are taken on tank/string samples to count the number of staphs, streps and coliform organisms. Mycoplasma spp culturing is available for individual animals or bulk tank monitoring. Please see the Laboratory Services and Submission Forms tab for more information. Return to Top

lab-servicesBlood and Milk Pregnancy Diagnosis

How it Works Cows that were previously pregnant must be at least 60 days postpartum in order for any residual pregnancy hormone to be gone. Cows also need to be a minimum of 28 days post insemination for blood and at least 35 days post insemination for the milk test. This test only tells you if the cow is pregnant or open. Gestation cannot be staged by this particular assay. Blood should be collected in a clot tube and stored under refrigeration until submission for testing. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how to best implement this technology. Just about any milk can be collected for pregnancy detection. Milk from DHIA samples may be used, fresh or frozen milk samples may be used and samples collected by hand pre or post milking may be used. Samples cannot be sour or mastitic. Multiple tests can be done on milk or blood samples. Return to Top

Johne’s Disease

Johne’s disease is a chronic, debilitating disease in cattle characterized by widespread enteritis resulting in diarrhea and weight loss. The disease is the result of infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Bacteria are shed in high numbers in the feces of infected cattle and also through the milk and colostrum. Once infected, cattle are considered to be shedders for life. Increased shedding of bacteria by cattle increases during periods of stress such as during calving or any type of illness. Since the infection is spread by fecal ingestion of the bacteria and newborn and young calves are the most susceptible, control programs are geared toward decreasing the amount of exposure of susceptible calves to M. paratuberculosis. Identification of cows that are possible carriers and segregating them at calving is one strategy to attempt to decrease spread of Johne’s disease within a herd. Fecal culture for Johne’s is considered the “gold standard” for diagnosis, however, the turn-around time for results is between 12-16 weeks and the culture can be quite costly. On the other hand, ELISA testing is a fast, cost effective means of detecting the presence of Johne’s antibodies in blood. ELISA testing, like any other diagnostic test, is only part of a comprehensive Johne’s control program. Each farm has different goals and needs for Johne’s control and should have a custom designed program for their specific enterprise. We would be glad to discuss any Johne’s control issues or questions you may have. Return to Top

Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

BVD is an RNA virus belonging to the genus Pestivirus. It is endemic in cattle populations in the United States and other countries around the world. BVDV can infect susceptible cattle of all ages, but is especially costly when it infects pregnant females. Fetal infection between 60-120 days gestation may result in what is known as a Persistently Infected (PI) calf. Persistently infected cattle are lifetime carriers of BVDV and are the means of propagation of BVD in cattle populations. BVD control programs are geared toward identifying PI animals and promptly removing them (permanently) from the population. The antigen capture ELISA test is an accurate, rapid method of identifying cattle persistently infected with BVDV. The test can be performed on either serum samples collected in red top serum tubes or as ear notches. Serum from calves should not be submitted for testing unless the sample was collected prior to feeding colostrum or the calf is >3 months of age. This is due to maternal antibody interference, which can increase the risk of false negative results. Ear notch samples can be submitted from cattle of any age, including young calves < 3 months of age. Although rare, there is a slight chance of the test detecting a transient infection. Therefore animals that test positive are often retested 3 weeks later for verification of PI status. Keep in mind that testing is only one component of a complete BVD control program. Proper vaccination, biosecurity and biocontainment are other important issues to address when designing a comprehensive plan to deal with BVDV. Our staff would be glad to address any questions you may have regarding BVD control programs Return to Top


Animals with CAE become emaciated despite an intact appetite, and show poor milk yield. Serologic surveys show that CAEV is widely disseminated in goat herds on different continents. The most important source of infection, however, is the milk of positive animals. In fact, if the kids are fed with communal milk from the herd, all the kids can be infected by just a single positive goat. An effective vaccination does not exist. For this reason, eradication programs to eliminate this disease start with testing to find infected animals. -Link to Blood submission form in Dropbox Return to Top

Certified Trichomoniasis Laboratory

Trichomoniasis (Trich.) infection of cattle is a devastating disease for dairy and beef cattle producers. When diagnosed in a herd it causes economic loss and emotional pain. “Trich is no treat!” Trich is a sexually transmitted disease that once an animal is infected there is no treatment. The foundation of building a prevention program for your herd is testing all the bulls that will have exposure to your cows. A simple preputial scraping performed by one of our Trichomoniasis Collection Certified veterinarians on your herd bulls can deem you free and clear of this disease in 7 days. Our laboratory is a Certified Trichomoniasis Laboratory which helps you to keep the costs of your breeding soundness exam down. No one knows if a herd is free from the infection until it is tested! Return to Top

lab-services1Bovine Leukosis

Bovine Leukemia Virus is the causative agent of bovine leucosis, a highly fatal form of cancer in cattle. Clinical signs are often absent until the extremely late stages of the disease. Late stage leucosis is characterized by lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes) in various regions of the body. Once infected with BLV virus, cattle are lifetime carriers and shedders of the virus. Virus is spread through animal to animal contact via blood, milk/colostrum and in-utero from dam to offspring. Also, an important means of transmission is through blood contamination of needles and surgical instruments as well as rectal sleeves used in multiple cows. The BLV ELISA test is used to detect the presence of Anti-BLV antibodies in serum. A positive result indicates exposure to the virus. All positive animals will not necessarily develop tumors and may not be chronic carriers. Test results should be discussed with a veterinarian before any decision is made to sell or retain individuals or groups of cows based on test-positive status. There are numerous components of a BLV control program and veterinary consultation is recommended before any BLV control program is initiated. Return to Top

Blood Sample Submissions

Serum samples should be collected in red top serum tubes and stored chilled prior to submission to the lab. Samples can be stored for 1 day in the refrigerator. If samples are to be stored for more than 1 day prior to submission, serum should be removed from the clot. Separated serum samples can be frozen and stored for longer periods of time if necessary. Ship so that samples are received next business day and always ship samples on ice (cold packs best). Return to Top