These are difficult times for both pet parents and pets. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the bond of the pet parents and pets are being tested in many ways, financially and health wise. With millions of job losses around the world, lot of pet parents are finding it difficult to cope up with expenses of their dogs and those who can afford the expenses are not finding many vets open to consult about their pet’s health.
Telemedicine – A bane in the Health Industry
The medical fraternity has moved on to telemedicine already, adopting to yet another amalgamation of technology with medicine. However, when it comes to pets and other animals, there are hardly any options to consider. During this lockdown, if one types into google, ‘veterinary doctor near me’ or ‘vet near me,’ there would hardly be any website offering the option of telemedicine. With tele vet consultation, the pet parents will avoid the risks of physically going to vet and increase the chances of contracting COVID-19. Moreover, they will not have to pay high consultation charges of vets and can have their doubts cleared even if there is no local vet available due to lockdown.
Challenges in veterinary Telemedicine
Telemedicine is an upcoming field in pets but is an established field for humans. In case of veterinary telemedicine, the patients cannot describe their own problems and sufferings. They entirely rely on their owners or parents for hinting towards the possible problems. An online vet consultation session will not have a physical diagnosis of the animal by the vet. Thus, the diagnosis can be made by what all the vet can gather from the parent. The challenge here is whether such diagnosis can always be relied upon. In such cases, the expertise, experience, and smartness of the vet play a key role. Only he can determine, based on his years of experience, if there is any need for pet hospitalization, any need for emergency medical care, or simple prescriptions of drugs. Another challenge in veterinary telemedicine is that a lot of pet parents report the situation rather late. It is only when they start seeing severe symptoms in their dogs, that they understand the need to have a word with a veterinary doctor. At this stage, telemedicine may not be an adequate means to diagnose the underlying problems and begin with urgent preliminary treatments right away.
Benefits of veterinary telemedicine
While telemedicine is booming up during the COVID-19 pandemic encaging the world in their homes, we can certain benefits of using technology here:
- Pandemic lockdown or not, certain remote areas may be completely devoid of a pet clinic or a veterinary doctor. Telemedicine in those areas may prove to be a wonderful idea to help to treat patients.
- Some paranoid pet parents may just panic at the slightest of symptoms in their pets. This is generally seen in the cases of first-time pet parents, and more so with puppies. They end up being sent back home with the vet’s assurance that the symptoms were ‘nothing to be concerned about.’ With telemedicine, pet parents can have their slightest of doubts cleared without having to physically visit a veterinary clinic.
- Pet clinics run within certain operational hours and time periods. There may be 24-hours open vet hospitals but they are too few. During those closed hours of your vet clinic, one can definitely try the online vet consultation options, in case you urgently need to ask about certain symptoms or start a pet medicine for your dog or cat.
- Some people adore animals and would love to take care of all of their pets as well as strays near their homes. However, the lack of funds does not let them get more involved. With veterinary telemedicine as a cheaper option, people can come out as volunteers to not only seek help for their pets, but also for stray animals.
What information do telemedicine vets need for a consultation
- What kind of animal you have
- Age and gender of your pet
- Which other and how many pets you keep at home
- Medical history of the patient pet as well as that of other pets
- Symptoms you have seen in your pet
- Follow up questions to understand and probe things further
- Do triage and tell the pet parent what to do in their specific condition
- If the condition is not life-threatening, the vet will prescribe medications on call till you can physically visit a vet clinic (if the pet does not get better.)
How to keep your pet healthy during lockdown
The rule for ensuring a good immune system is to have healthy and fresh food. The same is true for your pets. Pets’ moods and outlook to life depend on the warmth and love given to them, in addition to a comfortable space. A pet owner must love and play adequately with their pets to help them remain cheerful and in high spirits. There are several bond-building games for dogs and owners to play at home, such as tug of war. Keep them busy and working on those special senses to find out their favorite toys and treats by way of games. You can also indulge in exercising at home and involving your pets as well, without forcing them. They love to spend time with their loved ones and will love to be around you while you are working on those triceps. Recommended article: Ask A Veterinary Doctor Near Me Online
In the end what matters the most is that pets and pet parents stay safe, healthy, and happily together during the self-isolation days. It is the affection and love of the pets and the owners for each other that will keep the spirits high and have a positive outlook. With the option of telemedicine for their pets, owners can definitely win this race of time against the dreadful coronavirus grappling with our lives.