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Triage Updates – 07.18.21

Thank you for your ongoing trust in our hospital. As you may be aware, one in three families made the decision to adopt a new pet during the COVID pandemic. Over 6,000 new pets are entering the US every month, and animal shelters are essentially empty. We love that so many people share the love for animal family companions as we do.

However, because of these changes, we have reached a critical point where we must shift how we are managing the volume of pet families that are looking for medical services. While we have increased our staffing in the last year, we are still unable to meet the demand for our services and maintain the health and well-being for our staff.

We will be employing strict triaging guidelines moving forward.

We define ‘Triage’ as “to assign degrees of urgency to (wounded or ill patients).” Our hospital is currently at Priority 1/Red on our Triaging System. This means that our Emergency and Critical Care Departments will only be receiving patients that fall into the category of: “may recover if life saving measures are taken.” Examples of what this means medically include: excessive bleeding, poisoning, heat stroke, difficulty breathing, GDV/bloat, collapse, or the perception that the pet is at the end of their life and are in need of compassionate euthanasia.

Our specialty departments will shift to prioritizing cases based on emergent and urgent cases first, and will be selective in scheduling cases that are not life-threatening.

We still love your pets and truly want to do our best to provide you with the best medical care we can. We need to make sure we have the staff available to provide this care for the animals who need it most.

Thank you for your kindness and understanding,

Maine Veterinary Medical Center