Try Telemedicine and Virtual Visits for Your Pet
Pet concerns occur all hours of the day and night, and a trip the emergency room can be costly and sometimes unnecessary.
At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital, we believe pet care should extend beyond the walls of the hospital to support your pet’s health wherever you are, whenever you need it.
Virtual veterinary consultations from your own home
Telemedicine is one of the newest advancements in pet health, and we’re excited to add it to our list of services.
We’ve partnered with Airvet, a service where you and your pet can have a virtual visit and consultation with a veterinarian from the comfort of your own home. Sometimes, this may result in heading to the emergency clinic. Other times, this may mean following a few suggestions and seeing us in the morning.
How Airvet works
Using a video call similar to Skype or FaceTime, one of our veterinarians (or if we’re unavailable, one of our partnered Airvet doctors) can see what’s going on with your pet and give a recommendation.
With Airvet, you can quickly connect with us to ask questions, do follow-ups, and, sometimes, just get the reassurance you need during those moments of “I don’t know if I should be freaking out or not!”
It allows you to ask questions, upload photos and videos, and get answers. We will receive an emailed synopsis of your visit and will follow up with you to make sure your concerns have been addressed.
When to consider using Airvet
- General health and medical questions both big and small (no judgement here!)
- When you’re wondering if a certain issue is worth an in-person visit
- After hours when the hospital is closed and you need a licensed veterinarian (not Dr. Google or a social media group) to help you understand if a situation requires an emergency visit or if it can wait until normal business hours
- Behavioral or nutritional questions or concerns
- Basic follow-ups after an in-person visit for recent surgeries, treatments, or illnesses
Based on observations during the virtual visit, we may still need to see your pet in the hospital.
Do not use this service if you feel your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, such as respiratory distress, seizures, profuse bleeding, or other potentially life-threatening conditions. In these cases, immediately take your pet to a veterinarian or local emergency care facility.
The importance of a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)
Virtual appointments are not a substitute for your pets’ regular wellness visits to our office. We need to physically see your pets so we can weigh them, listen to their heart and lungs, look in their ears and eyes, check their mouths, palpate their abdomen and joints, etc. We can’t do these things online.
During a virtual visit, our veterinarians can only dispense medical advice, diagnose issues, prescribe treatment or medications if we have a current Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). This is the law, and it’s good medicine.
This means we have physically seen your pet within the last year as a patient within our hospital.
This relationship is specific to the pet for whom you’re scheduling the virtual visit, and not another pet in the household. If we don’t have a current VCPR with you and your pet, we can still schedule a virtual visit, but we will be limited as to the advice we can dispense.
4 ways to prepare for a successful virtual appointment
1. Find a location that is well lit and quiet. Minimize distractions like noise from televisions or music, as background noise may make it difficult for your veterinarian to hear you or your pet clearly.
2. Avoid bright background light or ‘backlighting’ which will make it difficult for your veterinarian to see your pet.
3. Be prepared with as much information as you can provide, such as:
- When did you first notice the change in condition?
- Have there been changes in their eating/drinking/elimination habits?
- Is the condition better/worse at different times of the day?
- Have there been any changes in environment or diet?
4. Do a ‘trial run’ with your pet prior to the appointment, holding your cell phone or tablet in front of them and their trouble spots so you know how they might react.
Steps to get started with Airvet
- Download the Airvet app to your phone through the AppStore or Google Play. (The app is not currently available for desktop or laptop PCs.)
- Select Atlantic Veterinary Hospital as your home hospital when prompted
- Select your pet’s primary veterinarian from the list
- Enter your payment information and start the call
Your friends at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital look forward to continuing to bring you the latest innovation in veterinary care. We seek to provide the best and most accessible care to you and your furry family.
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“I can never thank you enough for your attention to me and my pet... FIVE STARS!”