Pet care is primarily provided by veterinarians at their clinic; however, with the current situation with quarantine and Covid-19, some vet pet clinics have started to adapt using apps and teleconferencing. To cater to the needs of pets and their owners, virtual vets and tele vets have emerged as a pet health care option.
“Vet on demand” services allow pet owners to have access to remote vet care through a video call or chat at the comfort of their home. A licensed vet can provide general medical advice (telehealth services) and/or diagnosis and prescriptions (telemedicine services) regardless of time and place.
With the global pandemic and imposed stringent quarantine rules making an impact on our lives, online pet care services are a massive help for pet parents. These services make searching for accurate answers could be acquired through licensed veterinarians instead of endless and sometimes, fruitless Google searches.
To better understand virtual veterinary solutions and whether or not it is a great option for you and your pet, continue reading as we’ll further explore its benefits as well as online sites where you could reach professional vets for your consultation.
Pros and Cons of Virtual and Tele Vets
- Less long car rides - Online vets can provide immediate action to your pet's health situation during a video call without traveling miles away from your home, eliminating delayed care and emergency visits.
- No long lines - Waiting for your pet's turn in a crowded room could leave your pet stressed; through virtual vet, online consultation can be done while your pet is at its comfortable spot.
- Reduces risk - As Covid19 continues to surge, pets and their parents could be at risk, but through the digital shift you have a lesser chance of being exposed to the virus, making you safe and healthy.
- Easier access to prescriptions - Traditionally, pets needing diagnostic tests required a scheduled vet visit. With the new normal era, telemedicine, where remote diagnostics and treatments can be performed and prescriptions can be given by a licensed veterinarian as long as Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) has been established. This means that your chosen online vet consultant has examined your pet recently.
- Restricted use of five senses - A trained veterinarian uses his five basic senses to assess a pet’s situation. Depending on the pet’s case, the vet may have to smell the different parts of its body to determine where the problem is coming from. It may also have to listen to the pet’s heartbeat for any abnormalities in its breathing or rhythm.
- Incorrect information - It is normal for pet owners to panic if their pet is acting strange, and this may result in giving out wrong information to the vet. This leads to the vet prescribing an inappropriate course of treatment which could worsen the pet’s health.
- Licensing issues - Some countries prohibit veterinarian consultants from diagnosing and treating pets without face-to-face examination.
Top Online Veterinary Services
MyVirtualVetApp has several veterinarians pet owners can choose from based on their needs. Scheduling video or chat appointments can be done through their iOS app or their website. After scheduling, a confirmation will be sent via your email which has the link you need to click in order to join the video conference or chat with the vet; however, if you are an app user, you may have the convenience to directly join the video call or chat from the app.
It is worth mentioning that the platform allows you to connect with your primary veterinarian, especially if the case of your pet requires prescription and diagnosis.
Aside from medical advice and consultations, the virtual veterinary company has an online store for prescription refill and pet supplies.
VetNow is owned by a veterinary medical doctor who aims to provide pet parents a wide array of veterinarians and enhanced quality services that pets need. The platform offers virtual follow-ups, virtual preventive care, and urgent care provided that your vet’s clinic has teamed up with the company, but if your vet’s clinic has yet to join, you may have the option to refer it yourself.
Another advantage if the clinic is a VetNow partner is that your regular veterinarian can invite board-certified veterinary specialists including but not limited to oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists and surgeons for consultations. This enables state-of-the-art solutions to complicated veterinary cases.
FirstVet offers free video calls with their vets given that you have bought an insurance policy from one of their pet insurance partners. The company caters to pets and parents from different countries particularly Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, and Germany. It has veterinarians and specialists who provide quick excellent advice and diagnosis and medication.
Some of the medical problems vets from FirstVet can provide solutions with are vomiting and diarrhea, eye and ear problems, poisons, itching and skin problems, coughing and sneezing, fleas, tick and other parasites, injuries and accidents, behavioral problems, and rehabilitation and wellness for small animals.
Routine care, diagnoses, treatments, and prescription refills for your furry family member don’t have to be difficult during this time of global health crisis. Through virtual veterinarians, who are just one call away, your pet can get the necessary help it needs in case of emergency cases or just purely routine care.
Virtual vet prevents you from panicking if you are by yourself and your pet is suddenly paralyzed or vomiting uncontrollably. Physical veterinary offices are without a doubt irreplaceable, but if you are miles away from the clinic or if the emergency situations happen in the middle of the night, virtual pet care can save a life.
Since “prevention is better than cure”, checking the three listed online veterinary services and deciding which service is the best for your pet could help you in the long run.