NVDC announcements

Announcements archive

Timely topics for NVDC clients

In case you missed an announcement made on the home page, you can find it here. Please note that older announcements may contain information that has become outdated. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact the NVDC at 402-472-1434 or vdc2@unl.edu.


Accession and histology fees to increase Feb. 1, 2022

Beginning Feb. 1, 2022, the NVDC tests catalog will reflect new prices for some items in our fee schedule. These prices apply to samples received on or after that date.

As always, we make every effort to keep fees low for our clients; however, over time modest increases are necessary. This is the first time in many years these fees have been adjusted.

We appreciate you and your business. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Suspending EZ-Ship program

December 6, 2021—Dear Customers, Due to an increase in shipping fees imposed by United Parcel Service, we will be suspending our EZ-Ship program until further notice. In one week’s time, we have incurred over $2,200 in expenses for usage of EZ-Ship compared to what would have been about 1/4th that amount. The EZ-Ship program was not a money maker for the VDC, but rather an attempt to benefit you as customers. I apologize for this change in service and hopefully we can work something out with our shipping partner.

Best regards,

Bruce W. Brodersen, DVM, PhD

Reduced disposal fee for cattle and pigs

November 11, 2021—Last year, we were notified by the rendering company that picked up our cattle and pigs that they would no longer service the NVDC. Because of that, we had to raise our disposal fee to a level that was prohibitive for you to bring carcasses to us. After working with the renderer, I’m happy to say they have agreed to once again to pick up carcasses. The disposal fee for cattle and pigs will revert back to what it was previously.

The past increase in fees seriously reduced our caseload for necropsies. Part of our mission is disease surveillance and discovery of emerging diseases. Without us performing these postmortem exams we are not fulfilling our mission. I hope this update about fees will help you convince your clients to take advantage of our services.

Biopsy fee change

April 30, 2021—Due to increasing expenses within the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center, we will be increasing our fee for biopsies. The fee will increase from $32 to $38. The last fee increase was July 2013 with a similar percentage increase. This will become effective May 1, 2021.

Thank you for your continued support.

Accession fee changes

March 31, 2021—The NVDC will no longer be waiving accession fees on follow-up cases or related cases. The only situation where the accession fee would be waived would be when the case coordinator feels additional specimens are essential to a given case.

The accession fees we charge help support salaries of our Sample Receiving and Clerical staff along with other expenses related to processing cases. This charge serves a function similar to office visit charges or trip charges in your clinics.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you.


PCR test for Tritrichomonas foetus testing of bulls

September 30, 2020—The Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center will begin offering a new direct PCR test for Tritrichomonas foetus testing of bulls on Oct 1. Samples must arrive to the laboratory within 72 hours of collection and must be collected in PBS transport tubes provided by the laboratory. We now have a limited initial supply of PBS collection tubes available. Please visit the Tritrichomonas foetus testing page of our website for details or call 402-472-8470.

Pet Safety & COVID-19

July 24, 2020—The CDC provides a page of resources related to pets and COVID-19. Information is specific to veterinarians, public health officials, pet stores and breeders, the public and more. Click here to go to the page.

Advice for treating pinkeye in cattle this summer

July 23, 2020—Some recent cases of pinkeye have been challenging to treat. Veterinarians offer advice for prevention and treatment in this article published by "The Fence Post." Read more.

Fee change for necropsy disposal

May 20, 2020—Effective immediately, the rendering company which serviced the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center will no longer be picking up carcasses for rendering. Because of this, the fee we will be charging for carcass disposal of large animals will increase to $260 for the time being.

Infectious Bronchitis PCR for poultry

January 7, 2020—An Infectious Bronchitis PCR test for poultry is now available. You can find the link to it and other tests on the Poultry Tests page.


Updates to NVDC General Policies

December 12, 2019—The Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center has updated its General Policies document. This includes policies related to accession, payment, accession and shipping fees, disposal, biopsy fees, unanticipated fees, toxicology and laboratory results. Please let us know if you have any questions.

NVDC Newsletter (November) Available

November 11, 2019—Topics covered in this edition include Trichomonas foetus testing submission guidelines, tick season and NVDC staff updates. Read newsletter.

Updated submission forms available

August 12, 2019—New versions of several of the NVDC submission forms have been uploaded to the NVDC website and are available for your use. For best results please download and save the form to your computer first, then fill it out and save or print it.

Ruminant Submission Form (PDF)
Used for bovine, caprine, and ovine submissions.

Swine Submission Form (PDF)
Used for porcine submissions.

Avian Submission Form (PDF)
Used for avian submissions (not for commercial poultry).

BVD PI Submission Form (PDF)
Used for BVD PI.

Surgical Pathology Submission Form (PDF)
Used for biopsies.

Trichomonas Submission Form (PDF)
Used for Trichomonas foetus testing (PCR and culture).

BRD—Percent of Isolates Susceptible

July 19, 2019—A chart is available that shows BRD—Percent of Isolates Susceptible for the first half of 2019. View chart (PDF)

NVDC receives approval certificates for HL7 messaging

July 17, 2019—NVDC has received Approval Certificates for HL7 messaging to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network’s laboratory information and laboratory management systems for the foreign animal diseases Foot and Mouth Disease, Classical Swine Fever, and African Swine Fever.

New NVDC newsletter Available

July 11, 2019—Topics covered in this edition include Trichomonas foetus testing submission guidelines, tick season and NVDC staff updates. Read newsletter>>

Due dates now noted on invoices

We have modified our invoices and statements to indicate that all invoices are due 30 days from the invoice date.

State Fair 4-H Testing Requirements

Current Nebraska State Fair testing requirements are available for download (PDF). Mark your submissions with "State Fair 4-H Testing" and the NVDC will waive the accession fee.

New test to differentiate virulent from Avirulent M. haemolyticaIsolates isolates

A new genotyping system has been developed that helps distinguish Isolates of Mannheimia haemolytica that are more likely to be commensal in nature (Genotype 1) versus those that are more likely to invade lung tissues, causing respiratory disease and contain antimicrobial resistance (Genotype 2).

Using these findings the VDC has developed a MALDI-TOF based assay that genotypes M. haemolytica indirectly by using mass spectrum biomarkers. To do this isolates representing all known major genotypes and subtypes that had been subjected to whole genome sequencing and analysis were acquired (n=34). These include Type 1 (n=23) and Type 2 (n=11) major genotypes, which associated with either the upper respiratory tract (Type 1) or lungs of cattle with respiratory disease (Type 2). Biomarker peaks associated with each genotype were discovered that are specific to Type 1 at 9523 Da and Type 2 at 9494 Da, a reproducible model was developed that correctly classified all isolates using raw spectrum. This assay was then validated using the direct smear approach, which is used for identification of unknown bacteria in diagnostic workflows without extraction of proteins.

This assay is especially useful for antemortem sample types such as nasal swabs, where both Types and mixed populations may be present in the same clinical sample. This method is being offered at $15 and can be used on M. haemolytica isolated from cattle.

— Dr. J. Dustin Loy

2018 and earlier

Introducing the EZ-Ship option for shipping

You can now use UPS EZ-Ship options to ship your sample to the UNL Veterinary Diagnostic Center. To learn more about the benefits of shipping with UPS EZ-Ship, visit the Shipping page

Sequencing for Moraxella bovis

In collaboration with USMARC, Dr. Dustin Loy and other VDC researchers have finished sequencing and have published the first complete closed genome for Moraxella bovis, the etiologic agent of bovine pinkeye. It is available online here.

NVDC transitions to new computer system

Starting on March 1, 2018, the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center will be using a new computer system for reporting and accounting. Client reports, invoices, statements and web pages will look different. We appreciate your patience during this time of transition. To access the mobile friendly web reporting system, please visit the Results and Billing page. Thank you.

Change in rendering service for horse carcasses and barbiturate euthanization

The Veterinary Diagnostic Center was informed on March 1, 2018, that its rendering service will no longer accept horse carcasses or carcasses of animals euthanized by barbiturates. The Veterinary Diagnostic Center will still perform diagnostic testing on these animals but all horses and any animals euthanized by barbiturates will be charged a disposal fee of $1/pound body weight for incineration plus any laboratory fees incurred.

The Veterinary Diagnostic Center does not accept animals or carcasses solely for the purpose of disposal. Your understanding in this matter is appreciated.

Changes to requirements for cattle shipments to Canada effective Feb. 2018

Effective for breeding cattle shipments arriving at the Canadian border on or after February 1, 2018, cattle must be identified with a NAIS-compliant “840” Radio Frequency tag and a tattoo. Get the details here.

New address for Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center

The Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center (NVDC) has moved to its new building on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. Please note that the old VDC building is permanently closed for diagnostic services; no samples or necropsies will be accepted there.Samples, including necropsies, need to be delivered to the receiving area of the new building. The receiving area is located on the north side of the building. View a map and get additional details here (PDF).

VDC becomes part of National Animal Health Laboratory Network

The Veterinary Diagnostic Center has met the evaluation criteria and requirements to become the only approved Nebraska laboratory in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Find details here PDF

How to prevent freezing of fixed biopsy samples

Adding 1 part ethanol to 9 parts of formalin is recommended during the winter to prevent freezing of fixed biopsy samples while in transit to the VDC.

Seneca Valley Virus active in Nebraska, July 22, 2016

We are starting to receive calls and samples related to cases where pigs are experiencing vesicular lesions on their snouts as well as lameness. Do not assume these cases are Seneca Valley Virus. Accredited veterinarians are to immediately report all cases of vesicular disease to federal or state animal health officials. The reporting of all vesicular diseases is necessary to ensure that Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is ruled out. (9 CFR 161.4.) Lesions of Seneca Valley Virus infection are identical to FMD and can only be differentiated by laboratory testing.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Veterinary Diagnostic Center is part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and has personnel who can perform FMD testing on suspected animals under the order of a USDA or State Animal Health Official. A revised guidance document (VS 7406.2) was made that spells out the steps to be taken in the event of an outbreak of disease in pigs which manifests with vesicles.

Annual Update for Beef Veterinarians planned

The annual “Update for Veterinarians” program organized by Iowa State University’s Iowa Beef Center features a full day of education and demonstrations focused on beef cattle. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers is organizing the program and invites practitioners who work with cattle to make plans now to attend the May 24 event at the Iowa State McNay Research Farm near Chariton. Read more>>

Spring 2016 Beef Management Workshops

Iowa State University will host Beef Management Workshops May 23 and May 24. Dr. Dustin Loy, NVDC veterinary microbiologist, will present "Antimicrobial Resistance and Susceptibility Fundamentals, trends in BRD and Pinkeye." Additional details provided here.

Tips on sample submission for diagnosis of neonatal calf diarrhea

It will soon be that time of year again when the feces are flowing faster and more fluid than anyone likes to see in neonatal calves. This article reviews some points to keep in mind when collecting antemortem or postmortem samples from calves for submission to the Veterinary Diagnostic Center (VDC). Read the rest of the article>>

How to avoid formalin-fixed specimens from freezing during transit

Formalin fixed specimens that had been frozen during transit in the winter months can display severe freezing artifacts when examined histologically. This may preclude a definitive histologic diagnosis. To prevent this, we recommend adding 1 part ethanol to 9 parts of formalin during the winter while in transit to the VDC.

Guarded swab instructions for BRD sampling

Kit contents, sampling protocol and shipping requirements are provided in this article.

Canine Influenza reported in Chicago area

Outbreaks of canine influenza have been reported in the Chicago area. The outbreak strain has been determined to be an influenza A H3N2 virus that had previously only been reported in Asia. Clinical signs in dogs include fever, runny nose, and coughing. It is unknown whether the current influenza vaccines licensed for dogs protect against H3N2.

The Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center currently offers a rapid real-time PCR test for diagnosis of canine influenza that can detect the virus on nasal swabs or tracheal washes. Please contact the laboratory at 402-472-1434 or vdc2@unl.edu  if you would like further details.

Johne's culture no longer available through bacteriology lab

The bacteriology lab is no longer doing culture for Johne's. The lab is still doing Johne's PCR and can refer culture to another lab.

NVMA meeting follow up: Staphylococcus susceptibility

A chart showing percent susceptible S. pseudintermedius isolates of canine origin submitted to Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center from 2011-2014 is available here.