OK. I have to admit that I am biased here. I run an online veterinary advice website called: http://www.AskAVetQuestion.com.
There are many times where an online discussion with me has saved people paying money for an office visit fee with their regular vet. We talked earlier about how your vet may be willing to consult with you over the phone about certain issues as long as you have a good relationship with them. But, what if you haven’t developed that relationship yet? Or what if your vet is not able to consult with you? What if your vet’s office is closed?
An online vet can answer many of your questions. Often I will help people decide whether they need to see an emergency veterinarian right away or not.
An online veterinarian cannot give you a diagnosis and cannot prescribe medication online. But they can usually give you general advice that is very helpful.
Generally the prices are very inexpensive.
If you think your animal is not well, sometimes you can actually save money by spending money and having him examined before he gets too sick.
Here are some examples:
- Case #1: A 3 year old male cat has been visiting the litter box more often than normal. He is able to urinate, but just seems a little uncomfortable. The owner decides to take him in sooner rather than later just to be sure. It turns out he has crystals in his urine. The visit cost $180. However, if this owner had waited much longer the cat would likely have needed to be hospitalized and have surgery to relieve a blocked urethra. This type of treatment generally costs greater than $1000.00.
- • Case #2: A 4 year old jack russell terrier has been dragging his bum on the ground lately. A $40 vet visit reveals that his anal glands were full. If the owner had waited, the glands could have become impacted or abscessed requiring a surgery that would have cost $400-$600.
- • Case #3: An 8 year old cat has been drinking and urinating a lot more lately. The owner did not want to spend money on a vet visit so they decided to wait seeing as she was eating and seemed happy. The cat continued to lose weight so the owner bought a dewormer. Then, one day the cat’s appetite started to decline and she was vomiting. A vet visit showed that she had a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis which resulted from diabetes that had been untreated for too long. The cat needed hospitalization at an emergency clinic which ended up costing $1800.00.
I could go on and on! If you feel your pet is not well, it is best to give your vet a call to ask whether they feel a visit is necessary. Or, as mentioned before, you can use the services of an online vet (http://www.askavetquestion.com). But, if you are just not sure it is best to be safe rather than sorry. Some proactive care today can save us an expensive bill tomorrow!
Article by Dr. Marie