Telemedicine has been a standing practice amongst general medical providers, but most people don’t think about using the service for their pets. Some health conditions can be diagnosed and treated with discussion and observation of symptoms without an exam, just as telemedicine for humans. Often, the routine visits you make to your vet can be handled over the phone or by video chat. Here are a few of the most common health issues that can be addressed during veterinary telemedicine appointments.
Chronic health management
If your pet requires ongoing treatment for a medical condition, it may be possible to handle follow ups and prescription refills without a physical examination. The vet will ask you a series of questions to determine effectiveness of current treatment and may make additional recommendations.
If your pet recently had a surgery or other procedure, you may be able to do their follow up via video chat with your vet. You’ll need to be able to accurately describe your pet’s recovery and current condition, as well as answer any questions the vet may have about the recovery up to that point. If necessary, prescription refills can usually be ordered during a telemedicine vet visit as well.
Your pet should have a wellness check annually, but that may not be possible right now. If your pet doesn’t require any vaccinations this year, you can usually do the wellness check via a video vet. They will ask you numerous questions about your pet’s health over the past year. Any maintenance medications, such as for fleas or allergies, can also be refilled at this time.
Signs of digestive distress
Most pets show behavioral signs of digestive distress long before they get diarrhea or begin to vomit. Unfortunately, most pet owners aren’t observant enough to notice the changes. Even if they do notice a difference in behavior, they may write it off to other potential causes. If your pet is actively vomiting and/or has diarrhea, you may be able to get prescription treatment and home remedies through a telehealth vet visit.
Mild limping or favoring one side
Did your pet suddenly start favoring one side, or limping on one paw? This could be a sign of a rather mild injury. Your vet may be able to walk you through wrapping it with a bandage for stability while it heals. They may also be able to prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medications over telehealth to keep your pet more comfortable during recovery.