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Veterinary Telehealth and Telemedicine


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Treatwell Pet Care Members Have Free Access to After-Hours Telehealth Services

If it’s late at night, and something is not quite right with Fido or Fluffy what should you do? If you know your pet is in crisis, we recommend you call or drive directly to your local emergency clinic as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you’re unsure whether or not your pet needs emergency treatment, but you don't feel comfortable waiting until we get back to you the next morning there is another option - Telehealth! Just follow the easy steps below:

 

How Does My Telehealth Benefit Work?

- Updated April, 2022 -

If it's after-hours and you're unsure whether or not your pet needs medical attention please call the Smart.Vet Registered Veterinary Technician triage line at (647) 695-5411.

  1. This phone call is free to anyone, and you will be able to speak directly with a Registered Veterinary Technician in Ontario 24/7. This technician will help you assess the situation and decide on the most appropriate next steps.
  2. Depending on their assessment, one of 3 things will happen. They may advise you to wait to speak to us the next business day, they may recommend you visit a local emergency clinic (in which case they will help co-ordinate) or they may suggest you speak to an online veterinarian directly.
  3. There is a consultation fee involved for speaking to an online veterinarian, but the good news is we will reimburse all Treatwell Pet Care members for this cost as one of the benefits of membership.
  4. After the call is completed, just send us an electronic copy of your receipt (a digital file, scan or even a photo will do) and we'll arrange to send you a reimbursement.
What is the Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

These are relatively new terms in the veterinary field, and sometimes they are used interchangeably even though they are slightly different.

Telemedicine implies the practice of veterinary medicine when the veterinarian is in a different location from the patient. Telehealth provides more general information that helps you better understand your pet’s health and how urgently treatment may be required.

Typically, telehealth services occur outside of what regulators refer to as a Veterinary-Patient Client Relationship (VPCR). This means the provider is not able to diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication for your pet. Instead, they are there to answer your questions and help you determine what the likely best course of action is for you and your pet. This can be very valuable when you’re panicking at 2:00 a.m. after your dog scarfed down that chocolate bar!

Telemedicine, on the other hand, is more comprehensive since it operates within a valid VPCR, and usually requires that your pet has been recently examined in person by the veterinarian providing the service. This means a licensed veterinarian can use it to treat, diagnose, and prescribe medications for your pet under the right conditions. Veterinarians been doing this for decades when we’ve interacted with clients over the phone. Now, with advances in communication technology the telemedicine toolbox is becoming even more powerful with the addition of video calls, text messages, and digital imaging.

Treatwell Pet Care Offers the Best of Both Worlds!

Our regularly scheduled in-home visits and in-depth knowledge of your pet’s health allow us to use telemedicine to make care for your pet increasingly accessible during business hours. After hours, our telehealth benefit from Smart.Vet helps us get you through the night, or the weekend.


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