Laboratory Departments

Breathitt Veterinary Center is a full service laboratory. Below are links describing each department and the function they serve.

  • Administrative Services provides administrative support for the diagnostic laboratory, including financial, clerical, information managment, supply/glassware and facilities maintenance support.
    • Debbie Reed, DVM, MPH, Director, Assistant Professor
    •   Bill Lawrence, Assistant Director
  • Clinical Pathology is equipped with instruments that could be found in any human hospital for the purpose of processing blood and serum samples. Samples can be tested for red and white blood cell counts, liver and kidney function, and hormonal assays. BVC's sophisticated instrumentation allows the clinical pathology section to process hundreds of samples per day.
  • Histopathology specializes in the preparation of normal and diseased tissues for microscopic evaluation by a pathologist. Techniques utilized in this section include tussue fixation, processing, microtomy, routine and special stains.
    The preservation of tissues in 10% neutral buffered formalin stabilizes tissue proteins and celular structure. During processing, the tissues undergo dehydration through gradient alcohols, clearing of the dehydrant agents, and infiltration with paraffin (wax). Paraffin holds the tissue, both cells and intercellular structures intact, allowing for uniform consistency during microtomy. We perform routine staining of 4 micron thick tissue sections with hematoxylin and eosin (H & E); this method demonstrates the nucleus, cytoplasm, muscle, and connective tissue. We use special stains to confirm abnormal growth, bacterial or fungal infections. A pathologist interprets and reports the results.
    • Dr. Johna Veatch, Head of Pathology, Lecturer
  • Bacteriology / Mycology performs a wide range of bacterial and fungal cultures, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. In addition, we also perform mastitis cultures, bulk tank milk testing, and a variety of special cultures including Johne's disease.
      Our Molecular Diagnostics laboratory performs DNA- and RNA-based PCR testing for the detection of pathogenic bacteria and viruses from clinical specimens as well as identifies virulence or pathogenic factors/genes in bacterial culture isolates.
    • Dr. Shri Singh, Head of Veterinary Microbiology, Professor
  • Pathology, staffed by four trained veterinary pathologists, determines the cause of illness and/or death of an animal by performing necropsy examinations on animals submitted to the laboratory and by microscopic examination of tissue samples.
    While performing a necropsy examination, the pathologist collects appropriate tissue samples to route to various laboratory sections for further testing. The pathologist combines information from these tests along with gross and microscopic examination of tissue samples to determine the cause of illness and death.
    • Dr. Johna Veatch, Head of Pathology, Lecturer
  • Serology diagnoses diseases in animals by detecting antibodies in serum (the liquid portion of blood) against specific organisms. The Breathitt Veterinary Center has a full-service serological laboratory, providing Agglutination, ELISA, C-ELISA, CF, AGID, IFA, DFA, Dot-Blot, HA, and IHA procedures. The serology section processes over a hundred thousand blood samples per year.
  • Toxicology provides an array of chemical analyses (pesticides, metals, mycotoxins plant alkaloids, etc.) primarily based on the needs of Kentucky veterinarians, agricultural producers, and pet owners. Our experienced personnel utilize thin layer and gas and liquid chromatographic procedures to identify, quantify, and confirm a variety of pesticides, feed additives, and mycotoxins in animal specimens and feeds. Atomic absorption spectrometry is used to quantitate metals in biological specimens from animals suspected of being poisoned. Atomic absorption and fluorescence spectrometers are also used to assess various nutritional deficiencies, including those involving copper, selenium, manganese, iron, and zinc. Various anions, such as nitrate, phosphate, sulfate, chloride and flouride are measured in water using ion exchange chromatograph.
    Additional support for pet owners and the livestock industry is provided through consultation with Dr. Ramesh C. Gupta, DVM, PhD, DABT, Professor and Head of Toxicology. Suggested testing procedures, sampling requirements, and interpretation of analytical results are routinely provided.
    Basic and applied research is pursued in the area of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Currently, this department is actively engaged in training graduate students.
    • Dr. Ramesh Gupta, Head of Toxicology, Professor
  • Virology uses techniques such as electron microscopy, virus isolation, serum neutralization, and fluorescent antibody testing to identify viruses that cause disease in animals. Electron microscopy has a rapid turn-around time of 1-2 days while virus isolation can take up to three weeks. The use of DNA/RNA technology is a new advancement to provide rapid virus diagnoses.