University of Wyoming Extension News

Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory earns reaccreditation

Vet sci Laegreid, William, 04-17-12

William Laegreid

The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL) in Laramie has achieved full accreditation for its work to diagnose potentially high-stakes animal diseases in the Cowboy State.

An eight-month review by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians culminated in March with recognition that personnel, practices, equipment and facilities meet the highest professional standards. Reaccreditation is required every five years.

Heading the WSVL is William Laegreid, professor and head of the University of Wyoming Department of Veterinary Science, of which the laboratory is part.

He pointed out someone is on the job 365 days a year.

“These are dedicated, hard-working people,” Laegreid said of the more than 30 faculty and staff members and approximately 25-30 university student workers.

The WSVL operates at the intersection of health, disease and mortality of wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Staff members and student employees conduct animal blood tests and biopsies and analyze carcasses, organs and tissue samples. The need for a diagnosis may also lead them to test environmental samples such as forage, feed, water and bedding.

In 2015, the WSVL handled 21,420 cases.

Investigations could be prompted by an aborted calf, elk found dead, suspected chronic wasting disease in a hunter’s kill or the sudden loss of a companion animal. The lab also performs health screening tests. Each day, on average, 80 to 100 cases are received by the WSVL. Continue reading

UW diagnostic externship program hosts veterinary students

Matt Hille and Vanessa Chen are immersed in diagnostic veterinary medicine during their summer externships at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.

Veterinary students Vanessa Chen and Matt Hille are studying diagnostic veterinary medicine at the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab (WSVL) in Laramie this summer through the University of Wyoming’s Diagnostic Externship Program.

Externships are available to third- or fourth-year veterinary students and offered by the Department of Veterinary Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. An externship is supervised practice off-campus or away from a student’s affiliated institution.

“It exposes the students to the realities of diagnostic veterinary medicine as a career,” said Donal O’Toole, professor in the department and diagnostic externship mentor. “We need more students – ideally, of the right type: curious, outgoing, broadly educated, compassionate, problem-solving – looking at this career option.”

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