Every day, veterinarians and producers use diagnostic tests as a tool to maintain herd health. The process of collecting tissue or blood samples, submitting them to a diagnostic lab and then reviewing the results seems simple … but if steps along the way go awry, the results can sometimes lead to decisions that aren’t optimal.

While many aspects of animal health are highly regulated, that’s not the case for all types of diagnostic testing. There are standards in place for testing prescribed by USDA and state authorities, but that’s only a small fraction of the testing done in diagnostic labs. Dr. Bruce Akey, a veterinarian and director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, says there are no national regulations for conducting and interpreting other diagnostic tests, which can lead to variation.

To help reduce the potential for variation, more diagnostics labs are taking steps to ensure standardization and accreditation, according to Akey.

In the audio interview below, Dr. Johnny Callahan, of Thermo Fisher Scientific, a company with deep expertise in animal diagnostics, talks about what working with an accredited diagnostic lab means for veterinarians and producers.

Akey says producers should work with their veterinarians to make sure they’re using recommended procedures for collecting and getting test samples to the labs.  Akey also encourages a healthy dialogue with labs to make sure there are no questions about test results.


Listen to Dr. Bruce Akey and Dr. Johnny Callahan discuss the process of getting diagnostic test reslults

Source: Life Technologies news release