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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Veterinary Medical Center

Refer a Small Animal or Avian/Exotic Patient

Instructions on this webpage are for veterinarians referring patients to the Small Animal Hospital. Information for pet owners is available on the following webpage:

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Referral Policy

The John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is a referral-only hospital. All new patients must be referred to our hospital by their veterinarian. Dog and cat owners should ask their veterinarian to contact the hospital for a referral appointment with a specialist. The avian and exotic animal service is available for both referral and general practice.

Update Your Information

To update your contact information, please fax the information to 865-974-0174 or call the hospital main number (865-974-8387) and ask for Nan Lambrecht, Manager, Client Services.

Contacting the Small Animal Hospital

Referring veterinarians should contact the hospital's main number (865-974-8387) and your call will be directed to the appropriate person or service. Be prepared to provide the name of the UT clinician you would like to speak to or the nature of the problem so you can be connected quickly. Business hours of the hospital's main number are M-F, 7:30am - 6:30pm. You will reach the emergency operator at other times.

  • Hospital main number - 865-974-8387
  • Emergency Referral or Consult
    Tell the operator that a patient emergency exists and the nature of the referral or consult. You will be connected to the appropriate service.
  • Regular appointments
    To make an appointment, the referring veterinarian should first contact the appointment desk and/or fax the patient's referral information at which time an appointment may be made by the referring veterinarian. Once the referral has been established, either the client or veterinarian may call to schedule an appointment.
  • After Hours Emergencies
    After 6:30pm, follow the recorded instructions.

Contacting the Referral Coordinator

Dial the main hospital number (865-974-8387) and request to speak with the referral coordinator.

When to contact the referral coordinator:

  • The appointment desk is unable to arrange an appointment, and you believe a patient needs to be seen before the next available appointment
  • A clinician has not returned your call within 24 hours
  • You have general referral questions
  • You would like in-patient information

Before the Appointment

Please direct clients to the following webpage for information about payment information, check-in and follow-up procedures, contact information, and directions to the Small Animal Hospital.

Before the appointment, please fax or mail the following forms (fax preferred):

All referrals should include a completed referral form and a summary of pertinent history and diagnostic results including:

  • Complete Case History
  • Current Medications
  • Current Lab Work
  • Vaccination Record
  • Previous Surgeries
  • X-Rays and Imaging (see instructions below)

Referral forms can be faxed (preferred):

Or mailed to this address:

Standard Referral: 865-974-0174
Oncology: 865-974-5213

Attn: Appointment Desk
2407 River Drive
Knoxville TN, 37996-4546


Veterinarians calling to consult on a case should contact the main hospital number (865-974-8387) and provide either the nature of the problem or the name of the desired medical or surgical service. The operator will attempt to connect you with the appropriate clinician. If the clinician is unavailable, you will be connected to voicemail. If your call is not returned within 24 hours, please call back and request to speak with the referral coordinator. If your consult is urgent, please advise the operator, who will direct your call appropriately.


Upon discharge, the client will be instructed to return to his or her referring veterinarian for follow-up care and services. Small Animal Hospital clinicians will make a final and complete written report to the referring veterinarian as soon as possible after patient discharge. Information will include findings, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, aftercare, or pathology. A copy of the discharge instructions given to the client will be faxed or emailed to you upon discharge of the patient. If we do not have your current fax number or email, a copy of the discharge instructions will be mailed to you.

Special Instructions

Radiographs and Imaging

Standard films or digital images in DICOM format burned on CD are accepted for interpretation by the Radiology Section. Radiology strongly discourages emailing images due to the fact that DICOM files are too large, and other image formats (jpg, tiff) do not allow image manipulation, compress data and are not of adequate diagnostic value. If a referring veterinarian is requesting a consultation directly from radiology, they can send the CD or hard copy film via regular mail or FedEx, UPS or any courier they wish directly to the Radiology Section. All radiographs will be promptly returned provided the radiographic envelope is labeled with the clinic address and phone number. A request form may be downloaded from:

Mail images (radiographic film or CD):

Radiology Section
University of Tennessee
C247 Veterinary Medical Center
2407 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4544

Radiographs for specific UT clinicians as part of a case consultation

Radiographic images, to be evaluated by a specific UT clinician as part of a case consultation, should be sent to the referral coordinator for distribution. To ensure timely and accurate delivery, please clearly indicate the UT clinician's name and full patient information in the delivery instructions. All radiographs will be promptly returned provided the radiographic envelope is labeled with the clinic address and phone number.

Please mail images to:

The University of Tennessee
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
C247 Veterinary Medical Center
2407 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4544
ATTENTION: Referral Coordinator

All films intended for interpretation by the radiology service should be mailed directly to the radiology service with the appropriate request.

MRI Outpatient Services

Veterinary Imaging Services offers direct outpatient MRI for your patients not needing a full diagnostic work-up at the UTCVM:

Physical Rehabilitation

Physical rehabilitation is available as a regular referral or direct outpatient treatment. Please be sure to indicate any medications, patient history and the reason the patient is being referred. For questions, contact Dr. Marti Drum or Bobbie Werbe, LVMT, BS, CCRP, directly at 865-974-2993 (M-F 8:00-5:00) or call our main number (865-974-8387).

Urinary Tract Procedures

Laser Lithotripsy appointments can be scheduled by calling the hospital main number (865-974-8387) and asking for the urology technician. If the technician is not available, you will be directed to leave a message on the technician voicemail, and your call will be returned promptly. For more information, visit: Laser Lithotripsy

Urinary Incontinence procedures can be scheduled by calling the hospital main number and asking for the appointment desk. For more information, see these links: Collagen Injection for urinary incontinence in dogs and Laser Ectopic Ureter Correction

Payment and Insurance

The hospital is regulated by a state "fair competition" clause, which means our fees are comparable to those of regional specialty private clinics. A portion of our budget comes from the State of Tennessee to support teaching, while fees charged for services support the operation of the Small Animal Hospital.

Client payment is required at the time of service. If the patient is hospitalized, half of the estimate is due prior to services being provided; the final payment is due when the patient is discharged. Treatment is determined by the client's decisions, with consideration of financial resources. The client has the right to decline any or all treatment suggested for the patient. We accept cash, checks, Master Card, VISA and Discover cards, and Care Credit. We do not accept American Express or offer an in-house payment plan.

If the patient is insured, the owner is responsible for payment at the time of service and the insurance company will reimburse the owner.

The client will receive an estimate prior to hospitalization. This estimate will be revised as the patient's condition is further defined. The estimate does not represent a final quote or guarantee of cost. Owners are encouraged to frequently check costs of their hospitalized pets.

Client Information Sheets

The following information sheets provide clients with additional details about certain procedures performed at the Veterinary Medical Center:

Small Animal Clinical Sciences Newsletters

How Can We Better Serve You?

Please provide comments/suggestions on how we can improve our services and communications with you and your clients. (250 words or less)




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