Friday, May 22, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another field trip for the kittens

Where are we going now??  

My vet sent me an email late last week announcing they were having an open house this past Saturday. In the email they mentioned they were going to have a professional photographer take photos of pets that stopped by. I thought what a great excuse to get the kittens out and get them in the hands of other people.

The more you expose kittens to when they are young, the better off they will be in the end as it builds a lot of confidence and self esteem.

These kitten things aren't staying.. right mom?? ~Jack
Photographer on the left, bounce house on the right
(oh wouldn't THAT have been fun with the kittens)
At the office
Zookie was perfectly happy being held
The Kraken was once again a huge hit, everyone loved him
Zookie kept trying to back up, and ended up backing himself up the wall
Headed home

I was hopeful that I could have gotten the photographer to take their weekly portraits, but it was outside, and there were a lot of people there so I felt uncomfortable asking him if he would do it inside - even though the vet said it would be okay to ask. I was really there to expose the kittens to more things, and despite their being very nervous, they did very well. They were giving away catnip toys, and Muffin (and eventually Eli) were thrilled!

Muffin sat on it to make sure no one would steal it
I ended up giving the kittens their vaccines after the trip, and all in all it was a very good day - especially when I got the call that I won this..

oooh, look at all the goodies!
Muffin inspects the winnings
I'll take this.. thank you very much 
an hour later Muffin was still in the house
an hour after that, some how Skippy got it.
All in all a very good day. I mentioned to my boss that the kittens could use another outing, and it looks like we are going to have another take your kitten to work day coming up soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Would you like a vet in your pocket? #VetOnDemand #ad #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Vet on Demand, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Vet on Demand App, but Tails from the Foster Kittens only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Vet on Demand is not responsible for the content of this article.

Vet on Demand™ connects pet owners with licensed veterinarians conveniently via an online video chat. You download the app, sign up with all of your and your pet's information and when you want to talk to a vet you can for $2.50 per minute. This is currently only available in iOS format at the iTunes store but they are looking to roll out an Android version soon

Now I know you are thinking, but why wouldn't I call my own vet or make an appointment if I have a question? What if you were traveling and weren't near a vet? What if you were in transition and hadn't found a vet yet? Some people are quite a distance from their vet and getting there takes a lot more effort than you might thing, like living on an island. Maybe a question would pop up in the middle of the night or on the weekend and you just know your local emergency vet is going to tell you to come on down and charge you a very large exam fee just for walking in the door.

Vet on Demand has the goal of having their app staffed 24/7, which could be very helpful to a lot of pet owners. Right now they have limited coverage, but as the app continues to grow they plan on getting more veterinarians to sign on.

In order to properly review the service, I was given 30 minutes of time with a vet. I was then given a time when a vet would be available and asked to check in. I had downloaded the app a few days before and entered my information. I have an old 4s phone and it worked well enough for me; I heard others used an iPad and connected in with it as well. Once I connected in, I had a small wait and I am not sure if that is because the vet was on another call or simply wasn't at his desk when I connected. The vets work off a computer and use a website and connect with you via a web cam, not with the app. I think that is very helpful for them because they will have both hands free and won't worry about having the camera face an appropriate angle while they might be looking something up.

Waiting for the vet to pick up
I spoke to a vet in Alabama, Dr. Phil Baxter, just as Glogirly did. I really didn't have any questions about my cats, but the one odd plaguing question in my life "Why is it Fleurp becomes anemic each Spring?" I had no real hope that the vet would have an answer because so many have not, but I thought it would give us something to talk about for a few minutes.  He was able to access her information, it only took him a moment to get the right screen up, he verified everything that I entered, her age, her gender, the fact that she is altered, and her history. He couldn't think of a reason why she would become anemic only in the spring, but suggested that good nutrition and a good multivitamin might help out. He speculated that maybe the pollen in the air might have something to do with it. When I pressed him for specifics he fell back on the SAV (Standard American Veterinarian) advice of Hills Science Diet for food, and some pet vitamins like you might find at Walmart.

Dr. Baxter. Like most video conferencing your image
is in the upper corner so you know what they are looking at.
I was curious what he expected from this app - what he was thinking the reasons why people might call. He thought it would be good for people who were far away from a vet or who had a very hard time getting the pet to a vet - cats who won't be caught, large dogs who are afraid of the vet, pets who get car sick - and also for second opinions.

You can turn the camera to the rear facing camera to show the vet something.
In this case it was blood work as we were talking about the option of giving a second opinion
I see some limitations with this app. Without being able to put hands on your pet, a vet is going to be hard pressed to tell if a cat is constipated or had a urinary blockage, or if that debris in your cat's ears is yeast or mites. A some states actually limit how much a vet can do without having an actual in house patient / client relationship. The vet I worked for years ago said there were legal issues for him if he hadn't physically put hands on a pet with in the past year.

The app costs $2.50 per minute, but they do offer a free five minutes with your initial download. This means if you have a 20 minute conversation the cost would be $37.50 with the code and $50 without.

I think of this app as being like having a vet as a good friend of yours, who isn't your primary caregiver. Someone you could go to and ask questions of when you are unsure if it is something you should be concerned about and you would rather get a real-time, reliable professional answer your question instead of relying on "Doctor Google" and hope you found accurate information. Someone you could turn to when other options just are not available to you, like those reasons I mentioned above.

When listening to the developers talk about their hopes for this app in the long term, I heard several options I REALLY like the idea of. They plan to implement a review system for the doctors so you can see what other people think of them. They also plan on allowing you to schedule time with specific vets, so if you want to do a consult with a holistic vet, that would be an option for you.

I think this app has a lot of potential and could service a need that so many people have. You can also check them out on Facebook.