VMDB Submission Rules

Data should be submitted to VMDB for those visits in which the animal was presented to the institution for evaluation or care only (e.g., this excludes lab only, pharmacy only, field service/ambulatory visits, over the counter sales of drugs or supplies, non-client related teaching and research visits).


If submitting data using SNOMED only concepts sanctioned by SNOMED will be accepted. For further information about SNOMED or to request additional concepts please email Kathy Ellis at wkellis@vmdb.org. When requesting a new concept code please provide a definition and resource, including any known synonyms. To gain access to the SNOMED forum contact Dr. Jeff Wilcke at jwilcke@vt.edu.

Breed and Species Transmission:

When submitting data using SNOMED, please note that the old VMDB instituted breed and species codes are no longer applicable. Breed and species must be transmitted as SNOMED concepts.

Therefore, breed and species hierarchy must be consistent with the most recent release of SNOMED. When mapping in-house taxonomy tables to SNOMED, concept hierarchy should be validated back to a minimum of the genus level, i.e., mixed breed dog (132619000) (L-809DF) is genus Canis to species Canis lupus familiaris (organism) (125079008)(L-8812A).

When one-to-one mapping is not possible, use the superbreed concepts where applicable. For example, there are several dachshund breed concepts in SNOMED. If all that is known about your patient is that it is some type of dachshund breed, the appropriate concept to choose is the Dachshund Superbreed concept (2062007)(L-80770) which is the parent of the other dachshund breeds.
Note: Requests for new SNOMED breed or species concepts should be made on the discussion forum at snomed.vetmed.vt.edu.

Medical Record Number:

A patient's medical record number must be unique to the institution and must never be reused.

Postal Code:

Postal code needs to be associated with the patient's address regardless of where the owner lives.

Clinician of Record:

The clinician of record should be submitted to VMDB as a code. The name of the clinician needs to be held privately by the submitting institution and is NOT to be shared with VMDB.

Litter/Group Records:

Each patient must have an individual record submitted with the following exceptions:

A litter, herd or other group presenting as healthy for certain elective procedures may be submitted as a group record (example: dehorns, tail docks only). Presently we have no mechanism by which to count these as more than "1" statistically so these should only be done with that in mind).

CERF, OFA and vaccinated animals need individual records for tracking purposes.

If an animal in the group is ill, or presents for a different procedure or different reason, this animal must have an individual record.

And, animals born in the hospital need records. For example, a litter delivered c-section and healthy, may receive a group record (again keep in mind that at this time these will only count as "1" patient); a litter in which an individual animal is being treated, ill, euthanatized, etc. will need to receive a unique record for that animal.


Submitted data will be checked for validity. Records that cannot be validated will be returned to the submitter. The records should be corrected and resubmitted.

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