frequently asked Questions
What is a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR)?
According to Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the establishment of a VCPR is essential for responsible and successful telemedicine. To establish a VCPR, your pet must have had a “recent” physical exam, a definition that varies between state agencies.
What Pet Health Questions Can An Online Vet Answer?
Virtual vets can advise pet owners on parasite prevention, diet, personal hygiene, exercise, behavioral issues, and other topics. A virtual veterinarian can also advise you on whether your pet’s medical condition is an emergency or if you can wait and see. “Telehealth is a fantastic first-time service for any situation that feels urgent – an animal that is extremely lethargic, has trouble breathing, is bleeding, has seizures or appears sick,” said Dr. Zay Satchu, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Bond Vet in New York City.
What can a virtual veterinarian not do?
Virtual veterinary services are not a substitute for personal attention. In the United States, federal and state regulations require veterinarians to physically examine animal patients before virtual consultations and prescribing medication. Without an established VCPR, virtual vets cannot diagnose or treat your pet, but they can answer your questions, provide advice about your pet’s medical or behavioral issues, and tell you whether they think your pet should be examined or treated personally.
Can I get a prescription from an online veterinarian?
No, in most cases an online veterinarian will not be able to write a prescription for your pet unless you are using a virtual veterinarian service offered directly by the primary veterinarian where you have an established VCPR. In some cases, they could discuss, advise, and prescribe medication, Lau said.
Does my primary vet offer virtual vet services?
Could be. Many inpatient clinics now offer telemedicine options, including Satchus Bond Vet and Laus Adobe Animal Hospital. According to Kratt, more than 30% of all veterinary clinics in the US now offer virtual services, up from 10% before the pandemic. Check with your primary veterinarian to see if they offer virtual services.
When should you see a veterinarian or emergency veterinary care right away?
Always contact your veterinarian or animal health facility if your pet has any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, pale or bluish gums, seizures, loss of consciousness, collapse, unable to walk or stand, uncontrolled bleeding, swollen abdomen, and unproductive vomiting , persistent or bloody vomiting or diarrhea, effort to urinate, inability to urinate, or pain.