Although there is no substitute for a vet seeing your sick pet in person, there are lots of services for worried pet lovers to access online.
Online Vet Services Are Popular
An in-office exam is the only real way to get a solid exam for your sick pet, however, there are lots of online services that offer pet owners online access, in many cases 24 hours a day, to licensed veterinarians, as well as veterinary techs, pet trainers, and other useful pet specialists. One key difference that a virtual vet has when talking to you online, is that they can’t diagnose or treat your pet with an online consultation, but what they can do, is to answer any pressing questions you might have about any number of issues with your pets. Aside from emergent problems, which are best treated at a vet’s office, an online vet can consult with you on subjects like exercise, diet issues, grooming questions, behavioral problems, and of course minor health questions you might have.
There are a number of services now that offer the public time to speak with a licensed veterinarian, to give guidance for any kind of pet: the average dog and cat questions are answered, but also your pets that are birds, reptiles, fish, possums, or any sort of critter question is fair game.
Real Vets Give Real Advice
If your pet is visibly sick or hurt, you should always contact your primary veterinarian, or take your sick pet to an emergency animal hospital for immediate care. That said, there are plenty of routine pet questions that pet telemedicine services are able to answer questions about for you. The coronavirus opened up a bigger market for online vet services for consultation, and now the convenience of an online vet consultant has made a new age, digital service thrives. The ability to consult with a knowledgeable veterinarian from the ease and comfort of your smartphone is incredibly convenient, and can also potentially cut down on the need for some exams that are stressful to your pet if the answer to your pet question can be answered easily and online. This option is especially helpful for those who have skittish pets.
24 Hours Daily For Pet Advice
Clearly, this sort of service doesn’t allow for an actual hands-on exam of your pet, so virtual veterinary services do not replace face-to-face exams. In the United States, there are federal and state requirements that mandate veterinarians must physically examine their animal patients, in person, prior to establishing any virtual consultation practice that allows them to prescribe medications to that pet. This is referred to as “veterinarian-client-patient relationship” (VCPR), a “recent” hands-on history and physical exam of the pet in question must have been conducted.
The definition of “recent” varies among states and other agencies. Without this recent VCPR, a virtual veterinarian is not able to make a virtual diagnosis online, nor are they legally able to treat your pet with prescribed medications. What virtual vets can do without a VCPR is to answer any pressing questions a pet owner might have, or to offer advice about certain medical issues or behavioral problems, and offer advice on whether they believe that your pet should be examined and treated in person right away.
It’s worth checking if your regular veterinarian offers telehealth (over the phone) or online vet services currently, before going to a service that might not know your pet’s history at all. This might be more useful for you and your pet. If not, online vet consultation services might be one way to keep your pet healthy and happy. Virtual vets can ask simple questions about your pet’s health, their history, and can help you with problems that are easily answered without requiring any kind of office visit.