No matter what Type of pet you have – cat, dog, horse, or hamster – veterinary telemedicine services are a great way to diagnose and treat problems that don’t warrant an emergency visit to your local veterinarian. The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting orders for staying at home have made these teleservices all the more important.
With veterinary telemedicine, you speak to a veterinarian over text, phone, or video chat for real-time advice on what to do for your pet. It is not a substitute for regular office visits, and most telemedicine veterinarians cannot diagnose or prescribe medication for pets that they have not seen before, but they can provide helpful advice. We tried a number of these services to see how they work. We recommend the following.
If you’ve postponed a visit because of the pandemic, call your veterinarian. It is likely that their clinic is open (if it has ever closed). You just have to follow special rules so that they can see your pet, such as: B. wait outside the clinic and not inside the clinic wearing a face mask. Also check out our other animal guides, such as the best equipment for newly adopted puppies and kittens, the best animal cameras, and the best technical accessories for dogs.
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Telemedicine vs. Teletriaging
Before we look at these services, it’s important to understand the distinction between telemedicine (sometimes referred to as television) and teletriage, which most of the apps listed below specialize in.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a vet-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is required for a veterinarian to diagnose and prescribe medication. This means that a veterinarian must first see an animal in person, usually within a certain number of months.
Because of this, your current vet needs to be part of an app’s network for you to see them. Not all veterinary practices have made the leap into telemedicine, but luckily, there is still a lot that can be done if your veterinarian is not available. A Teletriage service can help you decide whether a midnight run to an emergency veterinary clinic is required or whether they can wait until morning.
“You can’t prescribe, treat, and diagnose, but you can provide triage, support, guidance, and general advice,” said Brandon Werber, CEO and founder of AirVet. “That’s exactly what people need 99 percent of the time at 11 p.m. when their vet is closed and their dog pukes.”
By triaging or dictating treatment to a patient based on the severity of their condition, you can also get answers to the common questions that come with pet ownership or things you normally only search for on Google – Should I bathe my cat ? Will the food my dog stole make him sick? What is normal litter box behavior? “
Laura Berg, Vice President of Business Development at Ask.Vet, says that while her team often answers medical questions, they also receive (and are happy to answer) less urgent questions, such as: B. How to determine the size of dog clothes. “We give pet owners the opportunity to ask a question they think is stupid but still want to advise,” she says.