Fish, exotic, zoo, pocket pet, reptile, amphibian testing at the AHL

The various AHL pathologists specialize in the gross and histopathology of non-domestic species, including mammals, pocket pets, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. These animals are often affected by unique and species-specific diseases, necessitating a focused laboratory service. The AHL has progressively established this specialized expertise and focus and we have tested a wide range of samples covering disease diagnosis, surveillance and health checks. Public display animals and pets are generally intimately associated with their caregivers, owners, and the general public.  These animals also represent an important interface between animal and public health, and through laboratory testing and pathology screening act as a particularly critical indicator for potential zoonotic disease transmission.

We provide laboratory services to veterinary clinics, zoos and aquaria, other diagnostic laboratories, governmental institutions, and various universities.  Dr. Heindrich Snyman, located in Kemptville, has a broad background in comparative pathology having worked with a variety of exotic, zoo, reptile, amphibian, fish, and invertebrate species.  Dr. Snyman is the AHL’s case co-ordinator on fish pathology cases.

The AHL established a fish microbiological testing section in 2014.  Since then, we have tested a wide range of samples covering disease diagnosis and surveillance, health checks, fish movement certification and fish export certification.

The AHL fish lab test spectrum includes:

  • Postmortem examinations and histopathology.
  • Wet mount microscopy examinations of gill biopsies and skin scrapings.
  • Bacterial culture and identification by MALDI-TOF MS, PCR, and PCR DNA sequencing; antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
  • PCR for Aeromonas salmonicida, Renibacterium salmoninarum, Flavobacterium psychrophilum, Flavobacterium branchiophilum, Flavobacterium columnare and Lactococcus garvieae/L.petauri.
  • PCR for infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV).
  • ISO/IEC 17025- accredited PCR testing for viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), koi herpesvirus (KHV), infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV).
  •  Myxobolus cerebralis (whirling disease pathogen) PCR are accredited by SCC under AHL flexible scope accreditation for PCR assays.

AHL exotic, zoo, pocket pet, reptile, amphibian molecular biology testing includes:

  • Pseudogymnoascus destructans PCR for bat white nose syndrome.
  • Echinococcus multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. PCR panel.
  • Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR.
  • Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola - PCR for captive and wild snakes.
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi in laboratory mice, rabbits, monkeys, dogs, rats, birds, guinea pigs – PCR.
  • Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans - PCR for amphibians including salamanders and caecilians.
  • Serpentovirus (reptile nidovirus) PCR.

For other virology and bacteriology testing, please contact .