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What's New at the AHL


July 29, 2015


Dear AHL clients,

            With this week’s anticipated heat wave please ensure that your specimens are packaged with as many ice packs as possible.  Although the specimens arrive first thing in the morning, they do spend a considerable amount of time on a hot truck and in a warehouse.  In that time, blood specimens can become hemolyzed and unsuitable for testing.  Styrofoam cooler boxes are also recommended whenever possible in these hot conditions. 

            Please note that August 1-3 is a long weekend, and while we are open to receive specimens, couriers will not be delivering until Tuesday morning.  Please avoid shipping specimens on Friday July 31st.


Thank you,

Client Services AHL


June 29, 2015

The Animal Health Lab Guelph will be open only for receiving of samples (9AM to 5PM) on Wednesday July 1st.  Emergency post mortem services are available in Guelph - please call ahead to discuss with the pathologist. AHL Kemptville will be closed. Couriers will not be delivering on Wednesday - Please make note of this when shipping to the lab this week -Happy Canada Day!


June 26, 2015

We are very pleased to announce that the Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) website is now live! Please check it out at: or click on the OAHN logo in the upper right hand corner.

More details are below. 

The Ontario Animal Health Network has released its new website, which provides a home for animal health information for veterinarians, producers and owners. features a sign-in area for veterinarians, where they can access veterinary reports to keep on top of animal health patterns in Ontario. For producers, there are resources, producer reports, and species-specific information. In addition, the website features podcasts, contact information and helpful links and videos for vets, producers, pet owners, and industry experts.

June 16, 2015 


To our valued clients, 


Major renovations at AHL-Kemptville will begin today June 16 lasting up to 1 week. During this time there may be short delays in postmortem turnaround time. While the contractors do not anticipate causing major interruptions there may be transient restrictions on client access to the loading dock while heavy equipment is in use. The renovations should be completed by June 23. 


Dr. Andrew Brooks


Animal Health Laboratory
79 Shearer Street
Kemptville, Ontario K0G 1J0



June 9, 2015

Happy World Accreditation Day!  The Animal Health Laboratory is proud to be accredited as an ISO 17025 and AAVLD laboratory, adhering to some of the highest quality programs in the laboratory business.  The AHL is one of 3 labs in Canada with AAVLD accreditation, and the only lab in Ontario with this title.  

What does this mean for you as a practitioner?  AAVLD, similar to other formal accreditation programs in the veterinary world, require stringent quality assurance programs, documentation of these programs, and frequent audits.  Assuring accuracy and quality is part of our daily life!  For example, calibration processes are carried out daily on our machines, and servicing is regularly scheduled for each machine.  Even our pipettes are professionally calibrated!  We also develop and validate new tests throughout the year, and are equipped with "flexible scope" in many areas, meaning that our quality program is trusted, so we can add appropriate tests. 


May 27, 2015

Our June 2015 newsletter is now available online. Please find it in our Publications section.


Apr 30, 2015

To our valued clients - as April 30th is our year end, we start May 1 2015 with an updated Fee Schedule.

You should have received a hard copy of our Fee Schedule in the mail to your clinic. 
If you have not or require more - please email your request to 
I invite you to our website
where our Fee Schedule is available (new prices will show after May 4th).
If you do not have the user name and password, please email and we can provide it. 
You can also see our Fee Schedule in our LIMS if you routinely logon to look at results - this is current as of May 1st. 
Thanks in advance for your continued support.
If there are any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jim Fairles


Apr 8, 2015

Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 has been confirmed in a turkey farm in southwestern Ontario. Eight farms have been quarantined and CFIA is dealing with containing the outbreak.
This virus causes high mortality in turkeys, but is not a threat to human heath or to food safety.

The AHL, as an AIV Network lab, is involved in testing samples, and is taking strict biocontainment measures.


Jan 21, 2015

How do you measure infection in your practice?  How do you determine if antibiotics should be implemented, or stopped?  Serum amyloid A can be an effective tool to help answer the infection/inflammation question in horses.  This year at the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, a number of presentations focused on the use of this inflammatory marker in equine medicine. Drs. Brent Hoff and Kris Ruotsalo, AHL clinical pathologists, and Helen Kocmarek, Clinical Pathology Technical Supervisor, developed and validated the test for horses under AHSI funding.  Since 2010, biochemical profiles at the Animal Health Lab have included serum amyloid A.  We know you're busy, so here's a compilation of succinct information about how to use and interpret SAA in practice.  

Video shot at the 2014 AAEP conference (audio only can be listened to safely via bluetooth if driving).  This video showcases prominent US veterinarians discussing how they use SAA in their practice.  Discussion is lead by Dr. Nathan Slovis of Hagyard Equine Medical Centre.

Paper outlining use of serum amyloid A in practice

AHL newsletter providing information about SAA in the AHL Newsletter 2010

Article in "the Horse" speaking to SAA testing for your clients


Summary of Dr. Hoff's initial work on SAA


Jan 19, 2015

Practice submission tip: Remember that formalin freezes in the cold weather too!  Fixed tissues that have been frozen in formalin have significant artifact, decreasing diagnostic potential.  To prevent freezing when submitting samples to the lab, or carrying formalin jars in ambulatory vehicles, add 1 ml isopropyl alcohol (or any other alcohol on hand) for every 10 ml of formalin.   Whole blood and EDTA blood will also freeze, rendering samples unusable. Send only serum, and/or insulate EDTA tubes to protect from freezing.

Dec 16, 2014

Please see the AHL Christmas Hours for 2014 


Dec 15, 2014

The Ontario Animal Health Network now has a Twitter and Facebook page!  As veterinarians ourselves, we know how busy you are, and that it can be a challenge to stay up to date on animal health news, and find content for your Facebook page.  The OAHN pages are designed so you or your clinic staff can easily reshare content to your website, Facebook or Twitter accounts.  Up to date content on our site that you can share easily ensures that you are always on the cutting edge of animal health information for your clients!  News items will be feature multiple species and topics.  We would welcome your feedback!


Dec 4, 2014

Check out the new "OAHN Rabies podcast: What every veterinarian should know about rabies in Ontario".  There are two podcasts: one for small animal vets and one for all species.  This podcast is for veterinarians and their staff  in Ontario.  In this podcast Dr. Maureen Anderson, DACVIM, and the lead veterinarian for rabies at OMAFRA is interviewed.  We tell you what every vet should know about the new regulations and testing in Ontario, and offer a refresher on rabies as a disease.


Nov 25, 2014

AHL Specimen Reception is undergoing a re-design for 2014/15.  During construction please deliver specimens to the shipping/receiving area. Click here for more details including a map and photos.

Nov 5, 2014

Up to date Ebola virus information for veterinarians and their clients.

Many veterinarians have been asked about Ebola virus and how it may affect the general public and the pet population, following recent headlines.  We know all veterinarians strive to provide current, factually correct information about relevant topics.  The following compilation of links contain up to date information about Ebola virus and animals.  Feel free to repost or share on your clinic Facebook page, Twitter or newsletter.  

Canadian information: 

Dr. Scott Weese's blog post about Ebola and pets (Worms and Germs link)

Healthy Canadians - Government of Canada update

US information:
American Veterinary Medical Association official statement and fact page about Ebola: (AVMA link)
Center for Disease Control information about Ebola, and their webpage dedicated to Ebola and pets.

Animal Health Laboratory | Laboratory Services | University of Guelph
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