LADDL working with veterinarians and LDH to test dogs and cats for COVID-19


LADDL working with veterinarians and LDH to test dogs and cats for COVID-19 through December 31, 2021

BATON ROUGE—The Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (LADDL) partnered with the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on a project to provide free COVID-19 testing for dogs and cats in Louisiana through December 31, 2021. This collaborative effort is being funded by the CDC.

“While we understand the clinical presentation of diseases in some companion animals, the full spectrum of disease associated with COVID-19 in animals is not well characterized. However, we only have data on a few cases within the United States where SARS-CoV-2 may have played a role in an animal’s death, and further surveillance and research is necessary to identify and analyze animals that are severely affected by this virus,” says Gary Balsamo, DVM (LSU SVM 1981), MPH&TM, State Public Health Veterinarian and Assistant State Epidemiologist.

“We are very excited to participate in the research and investigation of yet another companion animal disease potentially impacting the health and well-being of the animals and citizens of Louisiana,” says LADDL Director Udeni Balasuriya, BVSc, PhD.

If you think your pet has been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your veterinarian to have samples taken. Your veterinarian can contact LADDL to request swabs and a molecular transport medium, and LADDL will send the kit and process the specimen at no charge to the pet owner or the veterinarian. If FedEx shipping is required, it is also provided at no charge. Pet owners must complete a questionnaire and possibly participate in an interview with an epidemiologist. The information obtained via the questionnaire and interview is protected health information and will not be shared with anyone. Pet owners and veterinarians can contact LADDL at 225-578-9777 if they have questions, or to request a sample collection kit.

For more information about LADDL, please go to


The Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (LADDL) is the only full-service AAVLD-accredited laboratory in Louisiana. LADDL operates in partnership with Louisiana State University, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana state organizations, livestock and poultry producers, and veterinarians around the country.

About the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 32 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research, and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

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Ginger Guttner, APR

Communications Manager

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine