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Virtual Vet Appointments: The What, Why, And How

| Published on September 27, 2022

Your dog’s health should always be managed by someone who knows what they’re doing. You just don’t want to take any chances with your pet’s health. That said – you might not always be able to visit the vet in person (if you can even get an appointment at the closest clinic).

If the last several years have taught us anything, it’s that it has never been more possible to accomplish previously in-person tasks online. With sites like Vetster, veterinary medicine has become one of life’s many necessities that you may be surprised to learn can be accessed virtually.

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What is veterinary telemedicine & why use it?

The What

Veterinary telemedicine is basically what it sounds like: veterinary medical services acquired entirely through video, voice, or text chat.  Telemedicine offers an affordable and convenient way to “see” the vet anytime, day or night, in the most efficient way.

The Why

Many of the concerns you might schedule a visit with the vet for can actually be addressed virtually! Obviously, it depends on what issue you’re seeing the vet about, and we’ll get more into the reasons you might make a virtual vet appointment later.

The bottom line is: Telemedicine could prevent an unnecessary trip to the emergency vet, which can be pricey and stressful for your dog. An average emergency vet visit itself (meaning no surgeries, overnight stays, or imaging/tests) can cost around $100-$150, even if it’s a false alarm.

All that said, you shouldn’t try to handle any medical situations yourself. Playing “Dr. Google” at home puts your animal at risk of improper and insufficient treatment, even if you think it might help save on expenses. In fact, self-diagnosis may actually cost more in the long run when your pet needs additional care after at-home remedies are ineffective or even harmful.

While telemedicine can’t fully replace the need to see your veterinarian in-person for certain questions, virtual appointments can provide you with peace of mind from the comfort of your own home. It’s best for your mind and your wallet to consult a vet or expert online.

Which Health Concerns Are Virtual Veterinary Appointments Best For?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but just to give you an idea, here are some reasons you might need to consult with a vet that won’t necessarily require going in person:

  • Skin issues like rashes and redness
  • Dietary concerns and nutritional advice
  • Behavioral issues like aggression or refusing to use the litter box
  • Minor cuts and wounds
  • Puppy training and diet questions

What is Vetster?

It’s basically like having your own personal on-call online vet. Vetster connects pet owners to thousands of licensed veterinarians who can provide professional online vet services through video chat appointments, 24/7.

You can use Vetster to find a nearby veterinarian, but when you meet with them using the service it will be a video chat. (As long as they’re licensed in your state, you’re good.)

Don’t waste your time and money, and don’t take any chances when it comes to your dog’s health either.

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