Clinical services update

Due to a high volume of emergency cases, the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's emergency and critical care service can only accept small animal patients that are considered in the "red zone" (in a life-threatening situation) from 10 p.m., Sunday, May 22, to 8 a.m., Monday, May 23, 2022.

During this period, the veterinary teaching hospital will temporarily restrict admissions to its small animal emergency and critical care service because of the high load of cases in the hospital. Staff will only be looking after in-patients and incoming animals that are seriously ill or injured. 

  • Alert your clients. Please do not advise your clients to bring their pets to the VMC for emergency care during the night of May 22-23 unless their animals are critically ill or injured ("red zone" in chart below). 

  • If you have clients whose pets are experiencing major health issues, tell them in advance about the temporary restriction of admissions at the VMC's emergency and critical care service. 

  • Overnight call. If possible, please organize and provide emergency call for your veterinary clinic's clients during the night of May 22-23. 

  • VMC's message to owners. If owners call or bring their animals to the veterinary teaching hospital during this period (10 p.m., Sunday, May 22, to 8 a.m., Monday, May 23) and their pets' condition is considered urgent or non-urgent (orange and yellow zones in chart below), VMC staff will advise them to contact their regular veterinary clinic for emergency care or to return to the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 20.

  • Phone triage. For an emergency, VMC clinical team members will be available by phone (306-966-7126) overnight (May 22-23) to consult with animal owners about next steps. 

If the VMC must restrict entrance to its emergency and critical care service for additional nights in the future, the veterinary teaching hospital will send another message to the veterinary community and to the public as soon as possible. 

The VMC clinical team thanks the veterinary community for its understanding and support. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Steve Manning (; 306-321-5923). 


Clinical services, May 21-23, 2022

The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's (VMC) regular clinical services will not be open on Monday, May 23, due to the national holiday. Please note the following hours of operation during the long weekend: 

• Saturday, May 21: VMC clinical services closed (24/7 emergency services available)
• Sunday, May 22: VMC clinical services closed (24/7 emergency services available)
• Monday, May 23: VMC clinical services closed (24/7 emergency services available)
• Tuesday, May 24: VMC's regular clinical services resume at 8 a.m.

The VMC's 24/7 emergency and critical care services are available throughout the holiday weekend.

Changes to selected referral services
Updated Feb. 1, 2022


The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is now accepting referrals to its small animal surgery service. Please submit your referrals through the VMC's referral portal. Thank you for your patience! 


Until further notice, the veterinary nutrition service at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is not accepting external referral cases.

Dr. Tammy Owens, the VMC's board-certified nutritionist, will still provide nutritional support to VMC patients and will be available to external veterinarians for nutrition-related advice.

Click here to access other options for nutrition services in Canada and the U.S.  


VMC referral services

Updated April 15, 2022

The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) referral portal is open for all clinical services — including the small animal surgery service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wait times for some services may be longer. There may also be a wait list for certain specialty services.

As of April 15, 2022, the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) is allowing up to two people (per patient) to accompany their animal during appointments in the hospital. 

All clients must wear disposable, medical grade, three-layer masks while in the hospital. Masks will be provided for anyone who does not have one.  

Click on the button below to learn more about the VMC's COVID-19 response and the preventive protocols that all animal owners must follow. If you are referring a case to the VMC, please ensure that your clients are aware of these protocols before they bring cases to the veterinary teaching hospital. 

About Referral Cases

The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre serves as the referral centre for all veterinarians who practise across Western Canada.

Online Referral Forms

The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's online referral process has been upgraded. 

Click the green button below to begin the referral submission process. 

Questions or problems? Please contact  

Laboratory files and/or radiographic images can be attached to your online submission. Here's a list of the types of referrals that the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre can accept:  

  • Clinical behaviour (dogs, cats, exotic pets, pocket pets and horses)
  • Dentistry 
  • Dermatology
  • Equine standing MRI 
  • Medicine
  • Medicine-surgery (exotic pets, zoo animals and wildlife)
  • Neurology 
  • Nutrition 
  • Oncology 
  • Ophthalmology 
  • Rehabilitation (rehabilitation, acupuncture and laser therapy services)

Neurology and cardiology (small animal)

  • The WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre does not have board-certified specialists in neurology and cardiology on site.
  • Incoming cases are managed by the VMC's small animal medicine and small animal surgery teams. 


Cardiology (large animal/equine)

At this time, the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's (VMC) large animal clinical team cannot evaluate cardiology cases that require an echocardiogram for diagnostic, therapeutic or prognostic purposes. 

The following charts outline which cardiology cases the VMC's large animal internal medicine (LAIM) service will consider seeing and which cases should immediately be referred to another specialist centre. 

Cardiology cases considered by VMC's large animal internal medicine team

Diagnosis/treatment of suspected heart failure
Chemical conversion of atrial fibrillation (after an echocardiogram has been performed elsewhere)
ECG, including Holter ECG (intepretation by a board-certified cardiologist external to the WCVM)

Cardiology cases to be referred elsewhere

Workup of heart murmurs
Performance evaluations
Routine monitoring of previously diagnosed structural or functional cardiac abnormalities








Referral option:

  • Dr. Kim Hawkes, board-certified veterinary cardiologist, Pulse Veterinary Specialists & Emergency, Sherwood Park, Alta.
  • Dr. Hawkes provides equine cardiology services at several equine veterinary clinics in Alberta.

Please Note

We are staffed by faculty who have teaching, research and additional responsibilities. Referral cases must be seen by the clinicians on duty rather than by a specific faculty member. This is the case even if you have spoken to a specific faculty member and they have encouraged you to refer the case to the Veterinary Medical Centre.

If your client is scheduling the appointment, please ask your client to let our staff know that this is a referral appointment. We will ask for:

  • the referring veterinarian's name
  • the name and address of the referring veterinary clinic
  • a completed online referral form (see above). Radiographic images and/or laboratory files (in jpeg or PDF format) can be attached to your online submission.

As the patient's referring veterinarian, you will receive a final written report after the case is discharged from the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre.

Referring Emergency Cases

If a referred patient is an emergency case

  1. Send your patient and client on their way to the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre.
  2. Call the appropriate clinic to provide more details and your client's estimated arrival time.
  3. Complete the appropriate referral form.

Please inform your client that the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre will charge emergency fees. 

If a specialty clinician is unavailable, a clinical intern or a resident (under a senior clinician's supervision) will accept the referred emergency patients.

Notices for Veterinarians


Continuing Education

Each year, the WCVM helps to organize continuing education courses or seminars for specialized practitioner associations. Based on demand, the veterinary college also organizes and offers CE events that target certain species or disciplines.