Pathology Lab

It Takes a Team to Build a Lab

We call it the Department of Veterinary Pathology Diagnostic Service at Iowa State University.

In reality, is is a community effort of 10 College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members, all of whom are board certified veterinary pathologists, who rotate throughout the year to provide the highest quality diagnostic service to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center (LVMC) and veterinarians in Iowa and throughout the Midwest.

The Department of Veterinary Pathology receives between 15 and 35 cases each day including those from the LVMC and veterinarians throughout the Midwest. In addition, the department receives additional cytology and necropsy cases every day. Most of the cases are from companion animals and many are cancer-related.

“This is part of our job responsibilities,” said Dr. Joseph Haynes, professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Pathology. “Depending upon the faculty member, they can diagnose cases between six and 20 weeks per year.”

Dr. Haynes says three pathologists are on duty every day; one for biopsies, one for cytologies and one for necropsies.

“The biopsies we receive are processed by our histopathology lab the day we get them and the histotechs produce the slides for examination the following morning,” he said. “Then the pathologist examines the slides, makes the diagnosis and gets the results to the veterinarian later that day."

“We strive for a 24-hour turn-around. Most biopsy cases can be diagnosed fairly quickly. However, some are more complicated or unusual and take additional time to be evaluated completely.”

Referring veterinarians can have the report faxed to them or can view it on the department’s website. 

“As technology has improved, we have transitioned how we report the results to the clients,” Dr. Haynes said. “The on-line reporting system provides rapid reporting results."

“We believe we provide a good, personal service to our clients, many of whom are our former students.”