Introducing Our Telehealth Service
Have you heard about our unique telehealth service that allows you to access veterinary advice in the comfort of your own home via a video consultation? This service offers non-emergency veterinary advice for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s advice on getting a new four-legged family member or helping your pet live well in their final years, this service can help! Read on to learn how and why it could benefit you.
So, What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a consultation with a vet which is provided remotely via a video link, similar to Facetime, Zoom or Google Meets. You can book a telehealth consultation much like you would book an appointment at our surgery. As this service is an appointment with a Vet, there is still a charge for the appointment and at present, it is limited to the UK.
When Can I Use This Service?
Telehealth is a great way to access bespoke veterinary advice for a variety of reasons, including:
Advice, if you're thinking about getting a new pet
Introducing new pets
Advice for your new puppy or kitten
Chemical castration advice
Nervous patients who hate vet visits!
When your pet has been diagnosed with a lifelong condition such as diabetes, kidney or liver problems
For post-op check-ups and to discuss x-rays
End of life care and assessments
Inappropriate urination - referred to telehealth through the clinic
Diarrhoea/ runny poos when your pet is otherwise well
General concerns or when you need veterinary advice for a non-urgent issue.
What To Expect?
When booking a telehealth appointment via PetsApp you will receive a payment request before the appointment which is the cost of the consultation. This needs to be settled before your appointment. If you would rather book via the surgery, this is also an option, and payment can be taken over the phone.
At the time of your appointment, you can start the consultation via PetsApp by clicking on the camera icon - much like Facetime or WhatsApp - and the vet will join you on this video link. Standard telehealth appointments last around 20 minutes.
If your pet has been booked a post-op telehealth appointment to discuss x-rays, there is no need for prepayment as this is included in your pet’s procedure fees. Because the vet will want to show you your pet’s x-rays, this appointment is done via Zoom or Google Meets rather than PetsApp. Joining instructions will be sent to you via email before the appointment.
It is really helpful for your pet to be present for the appointment, however, depending on the reason for the appointment, it isn’t always necessary. You can also forward photos and videos in advance such as op sites, mouth and teeth and we always find poo and vomit photos extremely helpful!
If your pet is registered with the surgery and has had a physical examination in the last 12 months, the vet may dispense medication for you to collect from the surgery or to be posted out to you (medication and postal charges are in addition to the appointment charge).
If the vet feels that your pet would benefit from further investigations, such as blood tests, x-rays or a physical exam, they may refer you to the clinic. In this situation, the cost of the telehealth appointment will be discounted from the normal in house appointment fee.
When Is Telehealth Not Appropriate?
Telehealth is not suitable for problems that require immediate veterinary attention, including the following:
Deep or extensive wound injuries or significant bleeding (dripping)
Trauma (e.g. car accidents)
Cats and dogs that are struggling to pass urine or poo
Rabbits that are not eating
Swallowing hazards ie. toys/ clothes etc
Ingestion of toxic/harmful substances
Swollen abdomen or retching (especially large dogs)
Loss of thirst and appetite
Struggling to give birth
Should your pet be showing any of the above symptoms you should seek urgent veterinary attention from your clinic.
Telehealth is also limited by professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the Medicines Act; this restricts what can be carried out remotely to diagnose and treat your pet when they are unwell. Currently, in the circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak, the RCVS has introduced temporary permission to remotely prescribe medicines where it is appropriate and no reasonable alternative is available, such as when an owner must remain isolated at home or treatment of a pet in practice is not practical. Under these circumstances, a video consultation might be appropriate.
For more information on our telehealth service please contact our clinic or you can book your Remote Video Consultation Appointment via our Roundwood Pets PetsApp by clicking here or scanning our QR code.