In-Home Veterinary Pet Hospice Network Launches Nationwide Teleadvice Service
The veterinary profession must steer efforts to adapt digital tools to pet health care, writes Eleanor M. Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, in the article Veterinary Telemedicine: Are We Leading? In sister publication Today’s Veterinary Business. “Occasionally, opportunities come along that have potential for profound effect on individual veterinarians, their practices and the profession as a whole. Telemedicine is one of those exciting opportunities. Telemedicine can elevate the quality of patient care, reach more animals effectively and efficiently, and provide new business models and novel career paths.”
In the article, Green urges the veterinary profession to lead those efforts, not just take a wait-and-see attitude. Green wrote the article in 2019, long before the coronavirus disease COVID-19 began spreading in an alarming fashion.
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, the national network of veterinarians dedicated to providing in-home hospice and euthanasia for pets, has decided to take a leading role during the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing a teleadvice service for pet owners who need guidance from a veterinarian concerning their elderly and terminally ill pets. This comes at a particularly important time as pet owners struggle with the distancing required to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the need to care for their beloved pets.
The new service will offer guidance and triage support through 30-minute teleadvice consultations with experienced veterinarians trained in the special needs of elderly and infirm pets, including difficult end-of-life decisions. Teleadvice appointments are offered nationwide and are available to all pet parents.
“Nothing makes pet owners feel more helpless than when they learn that their pet has a terminal illness, or when they are dealing with a beloved pet in the late stages of life,” says Lap of Love’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Dani McVety.
“We’re following the same process with our new ‘teleadvice’ service that we’ve been using with all of our pet owners with our in-home care services,” says Dr. McVety. “First, they can call (855) 968-1118 to speak with our Support Center or they can submit an inquiry online via LapofLove.com. Our Support Center staff will listen to the concerns of the pet owner and can book a 30-minute virtual phone or Skype appointment with one of our end-of-life care veterinarians. Communication is the heart of all we do; it’s the lifeblood of all our interactions, now more than ever.”
Among the many questions that Lap of Love veterinarians can help answer by phone or Skype are whether or not to take a pet to an emergency veterinary care center or clinic, what overall caretaking changes can be made to make a pet more comfortable if they are sick and elderly, evaluating quality of life, and how to encourage pets to eat.
For more info: Lap of Love