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.


8 comments:

  1. I think this app has lots of potential too!

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  2. Hmmm, I'll have to ponder this some. Maybe if I could connect to MY veterinarian, who already knows my cats, rather than someone who is relying on notes...what if something is missing? I dunno, I suppose this app has it's place...thanks for posting about it! That's the really great part...seriously!

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  3. interesting....we think it would certainly come in handy for those late night "do we run to the er or not" moments or if you live further away from a vet

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  4. This is an interesting idea and may have its place in vet medicine. So, can you point the camera at your cat and have the vet look at your cat--say, if he is breathing funny or has goopy eyes?

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  5. I agree with you. There are some great possibilities for the app, but it definitely shouldn't replace a face-to-face appointment with a vet.

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  6. It's cool that they're looking into being able to schedule specific vets. There are times that discussing something as a second opinion with a holistic vet would be a real advantage but might not need a full exam if you already have bloodwork, etc, and that would be nice to have "on call."

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  7. We agree, this service does have good potential. We like the idea of being able to consult with a holistic vet since we don't have one near us to do so. Thanks for the good review.

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  8. We're also happy to know they are working on vet's bios and scheduling with specific vets. It's never a bad thing to have a second resource to turn to if you're unable to connect with your regular vet or clinic.

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