One of the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic has been an increase in telehealth and VetChat appointments in all areas of medical care. Although some medical doctors were offering limited telehealth options prior to the outbreak of the latest coronavirus, the practice of social distancing was directly responsible for a dramatic increase in health care providers who offer the service.
In human medicine, pediatricians, general practitioners, mental health professionals, and gynecologists have utilized telehealth appointments for post-care check-ins and issues that may not need a physical exam right away. Veterinarians are utilizing telehealth to help see patients without being in contact with their owners.
At the end of March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) temporarily changed their rules that state that veterinarians must physically examine animal patients prior to providing medical care.Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many veterinarians can now offer telemedicine using technology like video conferencing, phone calls, or chat.
There are two ways for pet owners to participate in veterinary telemedicine. One is through video conferencing with your regular veterinarians. The other telehealth veterinary care option is through mobile applications and websites that offer access to chat with the doctors other than your regular vet. The latter comes in handy when you cannot reach your regular vet at the moment or when you are out of town or even to get a second opinion from a well-experienced medical professional.
When VetChat Is Appropriate?
Because animals cannot speak in words, veterinarians rely heavily on a physical exam, perhaps even more than a doctor treating a human. The human can tell a doctor where something hurts or what they are feeling, but a veterinarian must use other cues. Vets can gain invaluable information based on a pet’s body language and response to the exam. They can tell if moving a limb or flexing a joint causes discomfort.
Veterinary telemedicine appointments can be very handy in situations in which an issue arises after normal veterinary hours or on a day when the office is closed, and the owner is unsure of whether or not an issue requires regular vet care, emergency vet care, or if they can safely handle an issue on their own at home. Instead of rushing to the nearest emergency clinic only to find that the problem did not need to be seen right away, or worrying that they were not treating something that should have been an emergency, pet owners can get expert, specific guidance on their pet’s exact problem.
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Veterinary Telehealth and the RV Lifestyle
The ability to speak to your regular veterinarian remotely is helpful to RV owners should their pets become sick while they are traveling. They can get information on whether they should find a vet near their campsite or if their own vet can help them without seeing their pet. In some instances, the emergency veterinarian could consult with the pet’s regular doctor over a call or chat to ensure that the pet’s full medical history is considered or that an ongoing problem is being treated correctly.
You can also send several photos or videos of the issue your pet is going through to make the vet understand the situation better.
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Friendly VetChat service
Waggle VetChat is one of the most friendly 24/7 Veterinary Telehealth services in the market that allows pet parents to book quick appointments and can ask unlimited questions till their doubts are clarified.
It is a subscription service that charges a very minimum amount and offers access to licensed veterinarians with more than 5 years of experience. Pet owners can determine if they should go to an emergency clinic, where the closest emergency clinic is, and get answers to their pet’s general non-emergency questions.
Unlike a typical telehealth service, Waggle VetChat offers the pet parents the ability to access non-emergency information from veterinarians like muscle building tips, nutritional consultations, daily training, and more.
It is important to note that VetChat is not a viable option for a large majority of animal healthcare issues. Veterinarians rely on the ability to touch the animal, assess the animal’s disposition, take skin, bodily waste, and fluid samples, look at the cells under a microscope, take x-rays, perform ultrasounds, and perform other checks required to provide an accurate diagnosis. However, telemedicine is valuable for pet owners who are unsure of what step to take next and ensure that humans’ social distancing is possible for these essential care providers and their clients.