Whether you own a cat, dog, or something more exotic, chances are you’ll need to see a vet at some point. Even with the best care in the world, our animal friends can still get sick or injured, and it is our responsibility as caregivers to make sure they get the help they need.
Thanks to the internet, talking to a professional veterinarian has never been easier, and with an app like FirstVet, you can have an online consultation with a fully qualified veterinarian without even leaving your home.
What is FirstVet?
FirstVet is an independent digital veterinary service that provides online video consultations to pet owners seeking advice or support. You can use it in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, and the service is available 24/7.
Although you can use FirstVet on your computer, the service is best used through the FirstVet app which is available for Android and iPhone.
To download: FirstVet for Android | iOS (Free, payment for consultations may be required)
How does FirstVet work?
Before you can start using FirstVet, you need to create an account. To do this, download the application and then register your animal. If you have purchased pet insurance from one of FirstVet’s insurance partners, your video calls with FirstVet are free.
When you need to make an appointment with FirstVet, just open the app and tap Book a video call.
Next, select the animal you are booking an appointment for, then choose whether you want to speak to a FirstVet vet for health advice or a behaviorist who can discuss things like barking, dog training methods or aggression.
On the next screen, you will see all available appointment times and which vet takes each session. To book a video consultation, select the appointment you want, then describe your pet’s symptoms and attach pictures if they can help your vet during your consultation.
If you are going to attach pictures to your notes, try to make sure they were taken in a well-lit area using the correct camera settings and provide a few different angles.
You will receive an SMS a few minutes before the start of your online consultation. You just have to reconnect to the application to start the call.
Once you have spoken with the vet, they will send you a follow-up email with all the notes taken during the session and their recommendations. If the online vet feels that your pet needs to be seen in person, they will forward these notes to your local vet and encourage you to make an in-person appointment.
Can FirstVet prescribe medication?
Prescription drugs can only be prescribed for your pet if it has been seen in person. This means that FirstVet cannot directly prescribe medication.
Fortunately, most straightforward cases can be resolved without a prescription, but if a FirstVet vet thinks your pet needs a prescription, they’ll refer you to your local vet with a full medical record of the consultation along with suggested treatment. .
Because FirstVet cannot prescribe medication and is a completely virtual service, it is best to use it for minor cases or general advice. In these cases, FirstVet can reassure you or help you care for your pet at home. If your pet is seriously injured or very ill, it is best to immediately make an emergency appointment with your local veterinarian.
How much does FirstVet cost?
If you have purchased pet insurance from a FirstVet partner insurer, your video consultations will be 100% free. If you don’t have pet insurance or have it with a non-partner, all US-based consultations are $ 35, including nights, weekends, and days. holidays.
Alternatively, you can sign up for an unlimited FirstVet subscription costing $ 65 for six months or $ 90 for one year. A subscription entitles you to unlimited FirstVet video views at any time.
Obtain health advice on the Internet
While digital veterinary services still have a long way to go before fully replacing face-to-face appointments, they serve a vital role in the pet care market. Services like FirstVet make it easy to get professional advice online and help free up local veterinary services for those who need it in an emergency and in person.
So the next time you’re worried that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten, or that your kitten has a weird stain on his chin, you might want to try a digital vet service.
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