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What to expect from an online vet visit: Common questions about telemedicine

Rachel Keane
  • Rachel Keane

  • RCVS: 6365059

 

Telemedicine is a concept that many people are not even aware of. Many people are stuck in their ways and will only seek medical help in person. The same can be said about pet owners. Using an online vet is an alien concept, and many people will not even know that it is an option. In this article, we will outline what you can expect from an online vet visit, as well as what an online vet can and cannot help you with.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the overarching term for medical services that are provided via electronic means. Most commonly in modern times, this means via the internet. Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular in human medicine, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic meant staying at home was the only thing people can do. Veterinary telemedicine is also incredibly useful for treating your pets.

What should I expect in an online vet consultation?

So what should you expect when you have an online vet consultation? Here are some of the questions many people ask regarding their online consultation.

How do I book an appointment with an online vet?

At PocketVet, the process of getting an online consultation for your pet is quick and simple. First, you need to register your pets and answer some basic questions so we have more information on the pet in question. After you have registered your pet you will then be able to connect with a vet via a live chat or a video call. 

Do I need a camera to have an online vet consultation?

If one of our online vets feels like they need to see your pet then you will be invited to a video call at a time that suits you. If you do not have a camera on your laptop or tablet then you will be able to join straight from your phone using your phone's front-facing camera. 

How long does an online vet consultation take?

If you have a video call with a vet you will be able to book it at a time that best suits you. Your video consultation will take as long as it needs to take in order to answer all of the questions the vet needs to ask. If you have time constraints then you should ensure to book your appointment when you have time to spare.

What questions can an online vet answer?

Of course, one of the main things people will want to know about veterinary telemedicine is what the vet can actually answer without physically examining the animal. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding what an online vet can answer.

Will an online vet ask me questions about my pet's problems?

To get the information that they need to provide you with the best advice about your pet's condition then an online vet will ask you questions to learn what they need to know. You should make sure to answer these questions as best as possible, but do not worry too much if you cannot answer every question.

Will an online vet ask any different questions to a regular vet?

The questions that you will be asked by an online vet will be very much the same as an in-person vet. However, the main difference will be when an online vet asks you questions that an in-person vet would be able to answer by physically examining your pet. As long as you can answer the questions to the best of your ability they will be able to provide you with the advice you need. 

Can I use an online vet to ask them a single question?

The beauty of an online vet is the accessibility that you have as opposed to an in-person vet. There is no need to stress your pet out by packing them up in the car, simply hop onto a live chat or a video call and get the answers to the questions you have, right from the comfort of your own home. 

Can I use an online vet to get a second opinion on my pet?

Sometimes you simply want a second opinion on medical and veterinary advice provided to you by a regular in-person vet. An online vet is great for getting a second opinion on your pet's condition and can provide you with the peace of mind you are looking for about your pet’s condition. 

Will an online vet ask me about preventative care?

One of the best things that your online vet can do for you is providing you with advice about preventative care for your pet. No matter what the condition is, an online vet will give you tailored, expert advice about how you can prevent conditions, or prevent symptoms of conditions from worsening.

Can an online vet help with my pet's chronic conditions?

If your pet is struggling with a chronic condition and you are looking for advice on how to help them then an online vet will be able to provide this without having to physically examine your pet, for the most part. An online vet can give you advice on helping your pet to cope with symptoms of chronic conditions, as well as potential treatments. 

Can an online vet help with deworming?

An online vet will also be able to help you with worming your pets. With a PocketVet parasite prevention pack, you can get tailored flea and worm treatment directly to your door every month for a small charge. Your online vet will be able to provide all of the information you need regarding this pack during your consultation.

Will an online vet provide you with any helpful resources?

You may also be looking for resources from a vet to do some more reading or learn on your own terms. If this is something that you’re interested in then you can ask your vet during your consultation to provide you with some. 

Will pictures of my pet's issue help an online vet understand what is wrong with my pet?

Your vet may ask for pictures of your pet during your live chat. However, if your online vet wants to take a look at your pet they may ask you to go into a video call with them. In some cases, you may need to take a picture of a certain area of your dog's body so that your online vet can provide you with better advice

Will an online vet provide product recommendations to help my pet?

During an online consultation, your vet will be able to provide you with some recommendations of products that may be able to help your pet with their individual needs. At PocketVet however, we cannot provide you with prescription-only medications.

What can an online vet not help with?

You may be concerned about what an online cannot actually help with. An in-person visit to a vet can provide you with some factors that an online vet consultation cannot. Here are some questions people ask regarding the things an online vet cannot help you with. 

Can online vets help your pet in an emergency?

If you are in urgent need of medical attention for your pets due to an emergency then an online vet consultation may not be best. In an emergency where your pet needs urgent treatment then you should visit an in-person vet to get them the help they need right away.

Will an online vet be able to perform any physical examinations of my pet?

It may seem obvious, but an online vet will not be able to perform a physical examination on your pet themselves. They may however ask you to perform some simple physical examinations on your pet to provide them with extra information they may need. 

Sources

https://www.petmd.com/dog/what-expect-online-vet-visit

https://wamiz.co.uk/dog/advice/23706/how-does-online-veterinary-telemedicine-work


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