It may come as no surprise to find that vet care—like so much else—has shifted to primarily an online format as of 2020. Telemedicine was already growing in popularity in the vet industry prior to 2020, but it has now taken hold and is offered by many veterinary offices in the United States and around the world. This includes online vet visits with our animal hospital in Alpena, MI.
However, online vet visits may still be new to you and your pet. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about online vet visits so you can be prepared for your upcoming check-in.
The Online Vet Visit Process in Alpena, MI
What You Need
Before you can engage in online vet visits in Alpena, MI, you will need the following items:
- A computer or a smart device with good, steady access to the Internet. Some vet clinics will use apps that only work on smart devices, and some may use sites that only work on computers. Others may use programs that work on either option.
- Access to the Televet app. You can download the app here: https://televet.com/owners. Once you download the app, you can register your pet’s information, add your contact information, and select your animal hospital.
- Photos of any areas of concern that are visible on your pet’s body.
- A pen and paper to write down anything the vet tells you.
- Your pet! Have your pet close by for the visit, as their physical symptoms can be detected and determined by their veterinarian.
To begin with, you’ll need to request an appointment through the Televet app.
When the time comes for the appointment, be sure you and your pet can sit comfortably in an area with good lighting and little to no distractions. You should be able to speak clearly in the location you choose, and you should make sure you can hear the vet speaking as well.
The Visit Itself
Your vet will begin by asking you about any concerns you have regarding your pet’s health care. You can bring up any changes you’ve noticed in your pet’s physical or behavioral health since the last visit, and you can also update the vet on any known problems you’ve been monitoring already.
Your vet may also ask questions about what your pet is eating, any known allergies, and other symptoms. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the vet to diagnose your pet. You may also need to physically show your pet on the call in some instances.
After the Visit
When the visit has concluded, your vet will likely prescribe some type of treatment or medication. If the medication requires a prescription, you will need to arrange a way to receive it. Some vets may be able to ship prescriptions to your home, but others may require you to come and pick up medications in person.
You may also still need to take your pet to the vet for tests such as blood work or stool samples. Your vet will give you more information if this is true for you.
Considerations for an Online Vet Visit in Alpena, MI
There is a lot to consider when trying to determine whether or not an online vet visit is a good choice for your pet’s situation.
Your Internet Connection
If you don’t have very stable internet or don’t have access to a strong connection, this may not be a possibility for you at all. On the other hand, if you know you’ll have good internet access throughout the visit, a telehealth appointment can help you save time, save money, and reduce the amount of contact you have to have at the vet’s office as well.
Serious Issues or Emergencies
Telehealth visits may not work for all situations, of course. If something is wrong with your pet that requires more involved testing, your veterinarian will still need to ask you to bring your pet in. And if your pet is dealing with an emergency, it’s important to go to an emergency vet rather than spend time trying to schedule a telehealth appointment.
Some prescriptions can’t be given to pets without seeing them in person, but this is an uncommon problem. Most veterinarians will require you to already be a patient at their clinic before scheduling a telehealth appointment for your furry family member.
It may take some time to get used to the idea of telemedicine for your pet, but don’t worry. Veterinarians are currently aware that many pet owners are learning this process as they go, as they are, too! If your vet has any serious concerns that require your pet to be seen in person, you will be told this right away. Otherwise, you can take your time learning how to maneuver online vet visits and keeping up with your pet’s health care needs in the process.
If you have any questions for us in regards to online vet visits, please feel free to reach out to us!