Increasing the life-saving capacity of animal shelters and communities through education, shelter outreach, and development of new knowledge

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing is a valuable investment for shelters to quickly identify and manage the spread of infectious disease.  Prompt identification helps save resources, time, and most importantly animal lives.

Diagnostic testing is often underutilized in the field of shelter medicine due to cost. Results may be difficult to interpret.  The University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program and Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) are working together to make diagnostic testing and disease surveillance more accessible to animal shelters.

Our veterinarians work with shelters and shelter veterinarians to help make decisions about what diagnostic testing might be indicated.  If shelters choose to submit through our program, services such as feline and canine respiratory panels using real-time PCR, necropsy testing, testing supplies and shipping labels to WVDL are all offered at a significant discount.

Testing generally occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays with PCR results typically reported to our program by the following day. One of our program veterinarians will communicate results with an interpretation to your organization as soon as they are available. The UW Shelter Medicine Program also offers discounted serological Canine Vaccicheck titer testing, which is sometimes recommended during disease outbreaks. Titer testing is run daily Monday through Friday, with results reported by the end of business day.

If you are interested in talking with our team about submitting diagnostic testing samples through our program at a discounted rate, please contact us for more information at uwsheltermedicine@vetmed.wisc.edu.