ViTALS (Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services)

Accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services (ViTALS) is the on-site interdisciplinary diagnostic laboratory of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and offers comprehensive diagnostic testing services for the college's Veterinary Teaching Hospital clinicians, referring veterinarians, and research clients.

To learn more about ViTALS's services and laboratory submission process, please contact Lab Central Receiving at lcrvth@vt.edu or 540-231-4320.

ViTALS Lab Sections

The Anatomic Pathology Laboratory consists of the Histopathology and Necropsy laboratories.

The Histopathology Laboratory is responsible for the preparation of tissue sections for microscopic evaluation by our veterinary pathologists. Specimens range from tissues obtained through surgical biopsy of live animals to tissues collected during necropsy. Diagnostic pathology establishes disease diagnosis and cause of death.

The Necropsy Laboratory is staffed by diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists who perform post-mortem examinations, known as necropsy, on companion, food production, and exotic animals. This service is provided for in-house clients, as well as regional veterinarians and animal owners. Information obtained through necropsy leads to the establishment of a disease diagnosis or cause of death.

The Clinical Pathology Laboratory comprises the subsections of clinical chemistry, urinalysis, special chemistry, blood gas, and hematology. Laboratory staff perform analyses on patient blood, urine, or body fluid samples. Other services offered through the Clinical Pathology Laboratory include blood bank and cytopathology.

Blood Bank is staffed with laboratory personnel who conduct blood typing and compatibility testing to ensure safe transfusions of blood products. The Clinical Laboratory maintains a blood bank of canine and feline blood products supplied using screened, healthy donors from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Blood Donor Program or using external vendors.

Cytopathology includes diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists who provide diagnostic interpretations of specimens submitted for cytopathology. Samples include fine-needle aspirates, fine-needle biopsies, tissue impression smears, and cells from body cavity fluids, urines, washes, and cerebrospinal fluid.

The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory is staffed with laboratory personnel who perform testing both to identify microorganisms isolated from blood, body fluids, feces, and tissues, and to provide antimicrobial resistance/susceptibility information that will assist the veterinarian in choosing the right course of treatment for the patient or herd.

The laboratory uses the Bruker MALDI Biotyper®, a mass spectrometer that has both clinical diagnostic and research applications, for high-speed, high-confidence microorganism identification.

The Clinical Immunology Laboratory offers tests to identify and diagnose exposure to infectious agents or detection of immune response or passive transfer of immunity using immunologic assays, ELISA, Radial Immunodiffusion (RID), slide agglutination, etc.

The Clinical Parasitology Laboratory performs testing to identify parasites, which assists in the diagnosis of parasitic infections in large and small animals. Available services include routine fecal testing and Giardia or heartworm antigen/antibody testing.

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory provides identification of disease-causing pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, canine distemper virus, equine herpes virus), primarily through real-time PCR.

ViTALS (Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services)