ViTALS Lab Sections

Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services (ViTALS) is an AAVLD accredited, on-site interdisciplinary diagnostic laboratory of the college.

Our full-service lab offers comprehensive diagnostic testing services for veterinary teaching hospital clinicians, referring veterinarians, and research clients.

To learn more about our services and laboratory submission process, please contact our Lab Central Receiving at or 540-231-4320.

ViTALS team photo

ViTALS Lab Sections

Anatomic Pathology

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

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 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.

Clinical Pathology

The Clinical Pathology Laboratory is comprised of the subsections of clinical chemistry, urinalysis, special chemistry, blood gas, and hematology. Laboratory staff perform analysis 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 assure safe transfusions of blood products. The Clinical Laboratory maintains a blood bank of canine and feline blood products. The blood bank is supplied using screened, healthy donors from the VTH Blood Donor Program or external vendor supplies.

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.

Clinical Microbiology

The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory is staffed with laboratory personnel who perform testing to identify microorganisms isolated from blood, body fluids, feces, and tissues, as well as, 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.

Clinical Immunology

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..

Clinical Parasitology

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.

Molecular Diagnostics

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