COVID-19: CDPHE instructs veterinarians to send all rabies testing requests to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

COVID-19: CDPHE instructs veterinarians to send all rabies testing requests to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

The following message was shared with CVMA from Dr. Jennifer House, State Public Health Veterinarian:

CDPHE Laboratory Services is temporarily diverting ALL rabies testing requests to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (CSU VDL). All rabies laboratory staff are currently working on the COVID-19 response and are not available for rabies testing. At this time it is best to ship any specimens directly to CSU VDL to avoid unnecessary testing delays. Specimens that are misdirected to CDPHE or arrive on the courier will be forwarded to CSU VDL for testing but this may cause a delay in results of three or more days. At this time we do not have an anticipated date to return to the normal process.

More information on testing at CSU VDL is available at:

Rabies specimens for public health testing may be submitted to CSU VDL using this form: CSU VDL test request form

CSU VDL is a fee for service laboratory. CDPHE has worked out a billing agreement while testing is being diverted. The CDPHE routine testing guidance still applies (table); CDPHE will be billed for approved test requests only. Any unapproved tests will be billed to the submitters at the current CSU VDL rate, which includes an additional charge for brain removal. The CDPHE courier will NOT be taking specimens to CSU VDL. Submitters will need to make their own transportation arrangements to get specimens to CSU VDL; FedEX, USPS, or in person delivery are best. CSU VDL offers extra services that CDPHE does not have that submitters may utilize. These additional services include weekend testing, head removal, and additional diagnostics such as distemper virus, CDPHE will not pay for these extra services.

Animal Species Exposures Fee Billed to
Bat, skunk, raccoon, fox, coyote Suspected contact with human, pet, or livestock (prior approval not needed) CDPHE
Bat, skunk, raccoon, fox, coyote No exposures identified; testing without exposure requires prior approval* Submitter
Dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock Prior approval* required from Zoonoses Program at CDPHE CDPHE
Dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock Without prior approval* Submitter
Rodents and lagomorphs Without prior approval* Submitter

*Contact 303-692-2700 and ask for Jennifer House ([email protected]) or Lauren Butler ([email protected]) for prior approval to waive testing fee prior to submitting the specimen.