Veterinarian looking through microscope

ABOUT US

The University of Maine operates the Vet Diagnostic Lab as a service to the veterinarians, livestock producers, and animal owners of the state. The lab performs a variety of diagnostic services, including necropsy, microbiology, virology, pathology, and special research support. We offer diagnostic support to clinicians, and assist in finding solutions for agricultural and aquacultural producers using Cooperative Extension resources. Working closely with the Animal and Veterinary Science Department, we integrate students into lab rotations to strengthen their preparation for veterinary and research careers. Through Cooperative Extension, we link with industry to help in the control of animal health related problems in Maine. Lab hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. No samples accepted after 4:30 PM on Fridays.

POLICIES

University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Policies:

Thank you for learning about the University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Our lab exists primarily to support the food (furred, feathered and finned) and fiber animal industries in Maine and the Northeast. We welcome inquiries from farmers. Occasionally we will perform diagnostic work on companion animals, but only if the case has been sent to us directly by veterinarians. We welcome veterinarians to contact us about necropsy, bacteriology, cytology or other diagnostic work.

All samples submitted to the University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory become the property of the University of Maine and will be disposed of using appropriate biosecurity. If requested by the submitting veterinarian at the time of submission, companion animal cadavers may be picked up by the veterinarian for cremation by a licensed facility. Additional fees will apply.

Production Animal Policy:

If you are a livestock owner without a food animal veterinarian, we can accept diagnostic cases from you, but will encourage you to find a food animal veterinarian to help you interpret and apply the findings. Communications about the case (estimates, preliminary, and final reports) will be made to you, but when a veterinarian is found for you then communications will go to both of you. Billing will go to you.  If you have an animal of any kind that you think of as a pet, such as dogs, cats or small pet mammals/pet birds, see the Companion Animal Policy (below).

Companion Animal Policy:

We do not accept companion animal diagnostic cases directly from clients. If you are an animal owner and would like to have a necropsy or other work done on your pet, please contact your veterinarian, and they can then contact us directly about the case. All submissions of companion animals must be made by veterinarians.  The animal should be either sent, or delivered, to us via an agent of the veterinarian. All communications about the case (estimates, preliminary and final reports) will be made to that veterinarian, and all billing will go to that veterinarian.

Confidentiality Policy:

We keep your identity, and the details of your case, confidential UNLESS we encounter a reportable disease. In that case, we notify you, your vet if you have one, and also the legally appropriate authorities (usually the state of Maine, but may also include the Maine Center for Disease Control and the USDA or FDA). We are required by law to report dangerous conditions. We will attempt to assist you with resolution of problems diagnosed, but the responsibility to apply solutions and to provide good animal welfare practices is yours.

Interpreting Results:

We encourage all our clients to develop a good working relationship with a clinical veterinarian in their area. To find a veterinarian in your area, you can consult the Maine Veterinary Medical Association website.

Billing Policy:

We can accept payment at the time of service (please ask for an estimate) or can bill our clients on a monthly basis. The initial bill is usually created at the time the final report is sent (when all diagnostic work is completed). At this time, we can accept checks or cash. Our billing system is now run through the University Bursar’s Office. In that system, accounts that are over 90 days unpaid are sent to a collection agency.