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UT Veterinary Medical Center COVID-19 Updates

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Updated July 28, 2021Call before bringing or sending a small animal patient.

The John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital at the UTCVM Veterinary Medical Center is experiencing intermittent personnel shortages. This is affecting the ability of our Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) service to provide for patients most in need of our services. A downloadable pdf of this information is available here.

To ensure the best patient care possible, please read the information below and follow these protocols. Doing so will greatly assist us to provide for you and your patients.

  • All clients and referring veterinarians should call the Small Animal Hospital at 865-974-8387 for telephone triage/assessment prior to sending or bringing a patient to the UTCVM Veterinary Medical Center for emergency treatment.
  • All calls will be routed to personnel who will assess the patient problem and determine if the patient needs immediate admission to the Emergency Service.
  • Patients admitted through the emergency service will be stabilized, treated, and when appropriate, discharged with our recommendation for follow-up with their primary care veterinarian.
  • Referring veterinarians must call a specific specialty service to have a referral approved and appointment priority determined.
  • If at any time our in-patient capacity to provide necessary care is exceeded, the following decisions will have to be made:
    • The ECC clinician or designee will determine the urgency of an emergency or referral patient and/or the need for the patient to be seen at our hospital. Patients determined to have less than emergent problems might not be approved or scheduled.
    • The decision to temporarily close the Emergency Service might be necessary. We will do our best to avoid this from occurring.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping us to provide for you and your patient/companion during these extreme circumstances.

ARRIVAL PROCEDURES

  • When you arrive, please park in the numbered space and follow the posted instructions to call 865-974-8387 and inform client services of your arrival.
  • Please remain in your car until you are instructed to enter the hospital.

Important! Please note that our call to you might come from an unknown number.  Be sure to adjust your cell phone’s settings as necessary to receive a call from our hospital personnel.

  • Masks are required for everyone while inside our hospital.
  • No more than 2 clients per patient/family are allowed inside the lobby and waiting area.
  • Seating is subject to maximum capacity limits.
  • Much of the communication will continue to be by phone.

Wait times may be long, especially when multiple services are required for consultation or treatment.  We encourage you to explore the campus area or UT Gardens adjacent to the veterinary medical center while you wait, or return home when feasible.  Hospital personnel will contact you by phone with any necessary questions, patient status updates, and discharge information.

The building is open for clients on a limited basis.

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Updated July 9, 2021 — Building Re-opens to Clients on Limited Basis. Details available here.

January 11, 2021 — To help protect the health of our students, faculty, staff, clients, and community, the UT Veterinary Medical Center is taking precautionary measures to limit exposure and transmission of the coronavirus. The Veterinary Medical Center is continuing to limit patient caseload to focus on patients in need of essential medical care, and to manage emergency patients. Our hospital is still working with limited personnel.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or another communicable disease such as the flu, please do not come to the veterinary medical center. If you are sick with COVID-19, and you believe your pet is ill, please call and we will work with you to determine how to ensure your animal can be properly cared for while minimizing risks of transmitting COVID-19 to others.

At this time, the UT Veterinary Medical Center cannot accept wildlife until further notice. Many times wildlife (primarily baby rabbits, birds, and fawns) are “kidnapped” by well-meaning people who attempt to “rescue” small animals they think have been abandoned. If you find young wildlife, the best course of action is to leave it alone or put the young back into a nest if one is present.

UPDATED January 11, 2021

John & Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital: 

  • Clients: Once you arrive at the veterinary medical center, please remain in your vehicle and call 865-974-8387 to notify us you are here. Please tell us
    • ​which medical service or doctor your pet is scheduled to see (if known)
    • which numbered lane you are parked in
    • Hospital personnel will meet you at your vehicle during the day; clients must wear a facemask when interacting with our personnel. No clients or visitors are allowed within the veterinary medical center; exceptions may be made for end of life issues.​
  • Referring Veterinarians–Emergency Cases: If you would like to arrange an emergency referral after examining a patient, please 
    • call 865-974-8387 and the client representative will connect you with the appropriate clinician to discuss the case. Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee, we will be operating with limited staff which may impact our service availability. For emergency cases, the referring veterinarian must call 865-974-8387 to discuss the nature of the emergency with the appropriate service clinician.​ If you have to leave a message, someone will return your call promptly; please do not just send a fax or email, we also need to speak with the referring veterinarian to help us prioritize prompt patient care and provide  an estimate to share with the client prior to arrival
    • do NOT tell the client to go to UT Veterinary Medical Center without first arranging the referral
    • complete the referral form in its entirety and fax to 865-974-0174 or email utvetref@utk.edu a summary of medical information pertinent to the immediate health concern; please do NOT send the patient’s entire medical record as this will slow down our ability to provide prompt patient and client care
    • to prevent delays for emergent cases, please do not refer non-emergency or non-urgent patients to the Emergency Service 
  • Referring Veterinarians–Non-urgent Cases and Standard Referrals:
    • complete the referral form in its entirety and fax to 865-974-0174 or email utvetref@utk.edu a summary of medical information pertinent to the immediate health concern; please do NOT send the patient’s entire medical record as this will slow down our ability to provide prompt patient and client care
    • if you would like to consult with a clinician prior to referring, call 865-974-8387 and the client representative will connect you with the appropriate clinician
    • if you would like an estimate to provide your client prior to arrival or have additional questions regarding the referral, contact the referral coordinator at 865-974-3939

      Click here if you would like additional information on small animal referrals.

Equine & Farm Animal Hospitals: operational with reduced staffing

  • Clients: To schedule an appointment, please call 865-974-5701. Referrals are not required prior to scheduling an appointment with the Equine and Farm Animal Hospitals. Once you arrive at the veterinary medical center, please remain in your vehicle and call 865-974-5701 and to inform us of
    • ​which medical service or doctor your pet is scheduled to see (if known)
    • ​​​in which unloading area you are parked​ 
    • Hospital personnel will meet you at your vehicle during the day; clients must wear a facemask when interacting with our personnel. No clients or visitors are allowed within the veterinary medical center; exceptions may be made for end of life issues.​​​​
  • Referring Veterinarians–Emergency Cases: If you would like to arrange an emergency referral after examining a patient, please 
    • call 865-974-5701 and the client representative will connect you with the appropriate clinician to discuss the case. If you have to leave a message, someone will return your call promptly; 
  • Referring Veterinarians–Non-urgent Cases and Standard Referrals:
    • If you wish to consult with a clinician prior to referring, please call 865-974-5701 and the client representative will connect you with the appropriate clinician. If this is not necessary, either you or the owner can call the number to set up the appointment. 
    • Complete the referral form in its entirety and fax a summary of medical information pertinent to the immediate health concern to 865-946-1786

Equine and Farm Animal Field Services: offering all services in the field, including preventative health care

Pharmacy: Filling prescriptions. Call the pharmacy as usual at 974-5670. Pick-up procedures are discussed at that time. Diagnostic Laboratory Services & our Courier Service: Our diagnostic laboratory services and courier service continue operation and are striving to maintain routine business hours of operation to meet the needs of referring veterinarians and their patients. However, due to depth of staffing and health concerns, some laboratories are adjusting schedules on a day-to-day basis. We encourage referring veterinarians to call prior to submitting samples. ​

We will continue to update information pertaining to the Veterinary Medical Center as we work to best manage the safety of our patients and personnel. ​

Information about pets and COVID-19 can be found here.​ The American Veterinary Medical Association has information for pet owners and veterinarians on its website​

Please stay safe and well during this crisis. ​