Online consultations are becoming more and more popular as people seek more convenient ways to treat their ailments. Of course, online consultations are available not just for people. These days, you can also book online veterinary consultations for your pets.
Whether you have a cat, dog, kitten, puppy, or another type of pet, there are veterinarians waiting to assist you online. But, how exactly do online vet services work?
That’s the main question we’re aiming to answer in this article. Now is a good time to start learning about those online vet services. After you’re done with this article, you’ll be able to determine if an online consultation makes sense for your pet.
What Are Online Vet Services?
Online vet services provide pet owners with ways to conveniently consult with a veterinarian. The consultations take the form of communicating with a veterinarian.
You can find platforms that facilitate chat-based communications between the veterinarian and the pet owner. Other services allow you to call the veterinarian or even arrange for a video consultation.
The bottom line is you don’t have to leave home if you’ve opted for an online veterinary consultation. Pandemic or not, that kind of service is going to appeal to more than a few pet owners.
Limitations of Online Vet Services
It’s hard to deny the benefits of online vet services, but they are still limited in certain ways. Pet owners must understand that an online consultation is not always a suitable substitute for an in-person consultation.
First off, an online consultation is lacking because a veterinarian cannot diagnose or prescribe treatment that way. They are legally prohibited from providing any diagnosis or treatments during an online consultation.
You have to visit the veterinarian in person if your pet needs to undergo treatment right away.
The veterinarian will also be unable to conduct a physical examination on your pet if the consultation is taking place online. That’s the case even if you’ve opted for a video consultation.
Online services certainly have a role to play in the way veterinary care is administered today. However, you have to recognize their limitations as well.
How Do You Choose a Provider of Online Vet Services?
Although online vet services are relatively new, you’ll quickly discover that they are already widely available. Conduct a quick search on your phone and you’ll likely be greeted with numerous options.
How do you settle on just one telehealth provider? Looking for some key elements should point you in the right direction.
Seek Out Online Vet Services Staffed with Licensed Professionals
Above everything else, you want to work with a telehealth provider that employs licensed veterinary professionals. Finding that kind of provider should be your priority above everything else.
No matter how knowledgeable someone seems, you shouldn’t listen to them unless they have a license. It would also help if the telehealth provider in question has different types of professionals on their payroll. That way, different professionals can evaluate your pet’s condition and offer their best pieces of advice.
Veterinarians Working Online Should Know Their Limitations
As we discussed earlier, there are things that veterinarians cannot do during an online consultation. It’s simply too risky for a veterinarian to offer a definitive diagnosis when they haven’t even seen your pet in person.
If you encounter a veterinarian online who is willing to diagnose pets without seeing them or prescribe medication, steer clear of them. They likely do not have the best interests of your pet in mind.
According to Everyday Health, you should also look for online vet services that present their fee structure clearly. It would be even better if they detailed their fees before charging you for anything.
Ask about the fees if you need to. Don’t start the consultation until you know exactly how much it will cost.
Should You Choose Online Vet Chat or a Video Consultation?
An online consultation with a veterinarian can take place over the phone, some written messages, or a videoconference.
Chatting and videoconferencing have emerged as very popular options. So, which of those two should you choose for your pet?
The Case for Online Vet Chat
Chatting with a veterinarian works best if you can easily describe the problem. As long as you convey your pet’s symptoms clearly, the veterinarian should be able to help you out.
Online vet chat can also work if you’re not at home. You can chat with the veterinarian while you have some free time and seek their general advice that way.
The Case for an Online Video Consultation
An online video consultation is the next best thing to an in-person visit. Through video, the veterinarian can examine your pet relatively closely and check for any issues.
If you’re having trouble trying to describe the issue, you can just show it to your vet and they will know what to do from there.
Online vet services have made seeking veterinary advice easier for pet owners. Feel free to try them the next time your pet is affected by a health issue.
Do you need someone to watch over your other cat or kitten while you’re engaged in an online vet consultation? We at TAILored Pet Services can help out if that’s the case. Reach out to us by calling 425-923-7791 or visit our cat sitting page to learn about our services.