Veterinary Teaching Hospital

VTH updates on response to COVID-19

VTH update

» Posted June 1, 2020

We continue to operate at reduced staffing, thus are prioritizing emergency, urgent, and previously canceled appointments. We continue to accept patients through curbside drop-off only, and clients are not allowed within the VTH. We thank the majority of you for understanding and working with us to provide care for clients and their animals.

However, due to recent actions, we need to remind referring practitioners of the following:

Please call the VTH before sending clients: Our clinicians and staff need to be informed so as to have a reasonable idea of what to expect at drop-off, and your clients need to be aware of what to expect upon arrival at the VTH.

The Large Animal VTH is scheduling routine cases and using precautions to protect staff and clients; we are open and making appointments. Clients will need to wait in their vehicles.

What clients should do and can expect when they arrive at the VTH, effective March 13, 2020, until further notice:

  • Call 540-231-4621 when you arrive in the parking lot. Our coordinators will arrange the patient transfer.
  • After your pet/animal is evaluated, the veterinarian will discuss with you by phone a plan for your pet/animal’s care.
  • You will then receive a phone call from a client service team member to obtain a deposit via one of our payment methods:
    • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) information will be accepted over the phone.
    • Online payments are accepted via the VTH's Online Payment Portal.
  • You will receive updates via phone, email, or text from your patient care team.
  • Patient visitation has been temporarily suspended.
  • Your pet/animal’s discharge process will be discussed via phone, and any remaining balance will be collected prior to discharge from the hospital.

Diagnostic laboratory services
Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services (ViTALS)

Courier service has resumed. Referrals are required for necropsy, even within a 35-mile radius. All other sections are open and receiving, but results may be delayed, depending on caseload, as staff is working in shifts. Please call to schedule a drop-off.

For clinics in the New River Valley, ViTALS will offer scheduled drop-offs during business hours.

  • Call the lab at 540-231-4320 to schedule a drop-off appointment during regular business hours.
  • Specimens should be placed in a ViTALS specimen bag; the submission form should be folded and stowed in the specimen bag pocket. If a plain, zip-closure bag is used, place the sample and the submission form in separate bags.
  • When you arrive at the front of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, remain in your vehicle and call the lab.
  • Lab staff will approach the vehicle with an opened, zip-closure bag. The delivery person should drop the bagged specimen and submission form in the opened bag.


VTH to begin a transition to expanded clinical services, effective May 6, 2020

» Posted May 6, 2020

On April 29, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in a briefing that Order of Public Health Emergency Two, which he signed almost six weeks ago to temporarily ban all elective procedures at Virginia hospitals, was allowed to expire at midnight on April 30. This expiration effectively means that medical facilities, including veterinary hospitals, across the commonwealth are now able to resume elective procedures.

We welcome this news and have received authorization from Virginia Tech administration to begin a transition to expanded clinical services at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

On May 6, using a phased approach in consideration of reduced staffing and medical supplies, we will start scheduling elective, primary care appointments and procedures, beginning with patients currently on our waiting list.

The health and safety of our employees and clients remain our primary focus. Our patient drop-off policy will remain in effect, and we will continue social distancing and other safety measures consistent with university policy and public health principles.


VTH providing essential care to emergent and existing patients only, effective March 13

» Posted March 13, 2020 | Updated April 10, 2020

Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) infection, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is taking additional precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our community so that we can continue to provide essential veterinary care for our patients and education for our students.

This decision is in line with public health guidelines regarding COVID-19, as well as appropriate procedures determined by Virginia Tech. This is a rapidly evolving situation. Visit the Virginia Tech website for more information.

Effective immediately, the VTH will provide essential care to emergent and existing patients only. Necessity of follow-up services and rechecks will be determined on a case-by-case basis. All elective cases currently scheduled will be rescheduled.

In addition, we will temporarily implement a new patient drop-off policy for all appointments including emergencies until further notice. VTH personnel will meet clients outside the hospital admissions entrance and will bring patients in for care. Following public health guidelines, including the principle of social distancing, only hospital personnel — including clinicians, staff, and clinical students — will be allowed access to the hospital complex, which includes the main hospital, diagnostic laboratory, podiatry center, and large animal isolation facilities, until further notice. Clients will not be permitted to enter these facilities.

Communication between VTH personnel, clients, and referring veterinarians will occur by phone, email, or text whenever possible.

Effective March 13, 2020, patient visitation will be temporarily suspended until further notice.

VTH personnel will contact clients directly with information about any scheduling changes needed for existing appointments.

We are continuing to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and will provide additional updates on this webpage. We appreciate your patience and support, as the health and safety of our patients, clients, students, and our staff here at the VTH are central to our mission in providing the highest quality of care.


What clients should do and can expect when they arrive at the VTH, effective March 13, 2020, until further notice:

  • Call 540-231-4621 when you arrive in the parking lot.
  • A VTH team member will greet you outside the hospital admissions entrance with your admission forms and will bring your pet/animal into the facility for evaluation. Please note, our personnel may wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and safety reasons when approaching patients.
  • After your pet/animal is evaluated, the veterinarian will discuss with you by phone a plan for your pet/animal’s care.
  • You will then receive a phone call from a client service team member to obtain a deposit via one of our payment methods:
    • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) information will be accepted over the phone.
    • Online payments are accepted via the VTH's Online Payment Portal.
  • You will receive updates via phone, email, or text from your patient care team.
  • Patient visitation has been temporarily suspended.
  • Your pet/animal’s discharge process will be discussed via phone, and any remaining balance will be collected prior to discharge from the hospital.

Diagnostic laboratory services

Effective March 22, 2020, Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services (ViTALS) has temporarily suspended courier service.

  • For clinics in the Roanoke Valley, ViTALS will offer pre-paid FedEx mailers for submission of cases to the lab.
  • When shipping laboratory samples, use FedEx or UPS overnight delivery. Refrain from using the U.S. Postal Service because of service changes enacted by Virginia Tech's campus mail.
  • For clinics in the New River Valley, ViTALS will offer scheduled drop-offs during business hours.
    • Call the lab at 540-231-4320 to schedule a drop-off appointment during regular business hours.
    • Specimens should be placed in a ViTALS specimen bag; the submission form should be folded and stowed in the specimen bag pocket. If a plain, zip-closure bag is used, place the sample and the submission form in separate bags.
    • When you arrive at the front of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, remain in your vehicle and call the lab.
    • Lab staff will approach the vehicle with an opened, zip-closure bag. The delivery person should drop the bagged specimen and submission form in the opened bag.

ViTALS, accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), is the on-site interdisciplinary diagnostic laboratory of the veterinary college. Clients can contact Lab Central Receiving at lcrvth@vt.edu or 540-231-4320.


Pharmacy services

The VTH Pharmacy will continue to dispense prescriptions as needed. Clients can call the VTH Pharmacy at 540-231-4626 to request refills. Our business office personnel will contact clients for payment. The prescription package will be given to the client outside the hospital admissions entrance by admissions or pharmacy personnel during normal business hours (before 5:30 p.m.). Prescription refills can also be shipped via FedEx for an additional charge.


Prescription food

The VTH will continue to dispense prescription food as needed. Clients can call the Business Office at 540-231-6027 to place orders. Our business office personnel will collect payment and prepare the order for pickup. The order will be given to the client outside the hospital admissions entrance by admissions or pharmacy personnel during normal business hours (before 5:30 p.m.). Prescription food orders can also be shipped via FedEx for an additional charge.

Resources: COVID-19 outbreak (March 2020)