One of the primary functions of the Veterinary Medical Center is to assist private practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of unusual or complicated cases. We welcome such cases through referral from a veterinarian or through private consultation as needed.
Updated October 15, 2021 — Emergency Service Hours Changed
Effective immediately, our Small Animal/Avian-Exotic Animal Emergency Service hours have changed. Emergency Services will only be open between the hours of 8 AM – 10 PM daily until further notice due to shortages in personnel and a high overnight caseload. In order to provide the highest possible care for hospitalized patients, we have made the difficult decision to limit our emergency services overnight. This only affects our Small Animal Hospital, NOT our Equine and Farm Animal hospitals.
Veterinarians and other members of the veterinary team continue to provide care for hospitalized patients overnight. We are limiting admissions of new cases to those with immediate life-threatening emergencies or critical care needs such as hit by car, gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), or respiratory distress. Patients with urgent but non-life threatening needs should contact their primary veterinarian as soon as possible. Cases which do arrive at our front door will be triaged by our veterinary nursing staff.
This has been a difficult but necessary decision made to provide appropriate patient care for hospitalized animals in our intensive care unit as well as to our veterinary medical team who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide for our patients. This is a temporary situation. Thank you for understanding.
Updated July 28, 2021 — Call 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.
Scheduling Instructions for Referring Veterinarians
Option 1: Fax or email the completed referral form
- Small Animal- Fax (865) 974-0174 or email@example.com
- Large Animal- Fax (865) 946-1786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Referral forms
- Small Animal detailed referral instructions
Please allow 48 business hours for the client to be contacted for an appointment.
Option 2: To schedule an appointment on behalf of your client, contact Client Services (note: some small animal services require reviewing the completed referral form and pertinent medical history prior to scheduling an appointment).
- Call (865) 974-8387 Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed weekend and major holidays)
- Email email@example.com OR
- Contact the small animal referral coordinator if you have questions on what service to refer to. Emergencies-see option #4
Option 3: Contact our Small Animal Referral Coordinator if you need assistance determining what service the case should be referred to or if would like to discuss medical aspects before arranging an appointment.
- Call (865) 974-3939 Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM (closed weekend and major holidays) OR
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergencies-see option #4
Option 4: Emergencies –
To discuss urgent cases or emergency referrals:
- Call (865) 974-8387 and inform the operator of your emergent situation. You will be directed to the appropriate personnel. Please do not fax or email the referral form or send the patient without calling first. Monday–Friday 8:00AM and 5:00PM (small animal by referral only).
- After regular business hours, call (865) 974-8387 and ask for the receiving emergency clinician
Fax or email a copy of the pertinent medical history, diagnostic testing results, and imaging at least 48 business hours before your client’s appointment. Incomplete referral forms will not be accepted and will delay the referral process.
General Referral Policy and Veterinary Communication
Although the UTCVM clinician/surgeon and referring veterinarian may have previously discussed a case prior to the animal being seen at the hospital, it is necessary and, in the patient’s, best interest that pertinent case history, recent test results, and surgery and medication information be provided at least 48 hours before the appointment along with the completed referral form. The person that discusses the case with the referring veterinarian prior to the patient’s arrival is not always the same person to admit and treat the patient.
Small animal services that require a referral from a licensed veterinarian are:
- Dentistry/oral surgery
- Daytime Emergency
- Medical and Radiation Oncology
- Internal Medicine
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Soft Tissue Surgery
- Veterinary Imaging Service (CT/MRI)
- Veterinary Obesity Center
Small animal services that do not require a referral are:
- After-Hour Emergency
- Behavior- referral not required but a primary veterinarian is required to be involved on the case
- Dermatology (referral preferred)
- Physical Rehabilitation
For detailed instructions on completing and forwarding referral forms and medical documentation/imaging, please visit the Small Animal Specific Referral Guidelines listed below.
Large Animal Services: Food Animal, Equine and Field Services do not require a referral. If a patient is being referred, please complete the appropriate referral form: https://tiny.utk.edu/RDVMresources
Communication with our Referring Veterinarians
Automated Communication System: Each clinic can choose how to receive automated communications from UTCVM. The choices include fax, email or letter (appointment bookings are excluded from letter format).
- Appointment Booking Notices: When an appointment is scheduled at UTCVM, the referring veterinarian will receive an appointment booking notification by email or fax. The referring veterinarian will also receive any cancelation, reschedule or no-show appointment notifications. Clinics can opt out of receiving these appointment notifications by emailing and letting us know at email@example.com
- Arrival Notices: When a referred patient arrives, the referring veterinarian will receive an automated arrival notification. The referring veterinarian is encouraged to contact the receiving clinician at any time, concerning the progress of a hospitalized case.
- Discharge Notices: When the patient is discharged, the referring veterinarian will receive a copy of the discharge instructions that was given to the client. In some instances, referral letters will be sent following the discharge instructions. Upon discharge, clients are instructed to return the patient to their referring veterinarian for follow-up. There will be times when it is necessary for the patient to return to UTCVM for additional care or testing. This information will be indicated in the discharge instructions.
- Automated Veterinarian Communication Notes: These communications may be utilized for various reasons: UTCVM visit updates, necropsy reports, follow-up after communication with client, patient death notice, reply to a referring veterinarian’s inquiry, or if we are unable to reach the referring veterinarian by phone.
VOLVet Portal: Clinics can sign up for access to the VOLVet Portal. Veterinarians and their appointed clinic staff will have access to review all forms of automated veterinary communications, UTCVM test results and necropsy reports. Access is available from anywhere a computer and internet service are available.
Phone Communication: There will be times that our clinicians will communicate with referring veterinarians via phone. Please make sure you have provided us with your current contact numbers. Phone numbers that do not accept blocked calls may delay or preclude our clinicians from communicating via phone.
Professional Consults: If you need to discuss medical aspects of a case, please review this form: https://tiny.utk.edu/UTCVMConsultations
After Hour Hospitalized Patient Updates: Updates are sent through the automated system and available on the VOLVetPortal. If the referring veterinarian needs additional information, the veterinarian may call the main clinic number (865) 974-8387 and ask to speak with the clinician or responsible service. While the clinician on the case may not be available at the time you call, a message will be relayed to the responsible service to communicate with the referring veterinarian at their next available opportunity.