If you have a genuine veterinary emergency you should always notify and attend your closest veterinary practice or out of hours service.
There’s a great new app which may be helpful if you’re self-isolating at home or if it’s after hours at night. It may also be useful if your regular vet is not immediately available given the extra demand placed on practices due to social distancing and increased hygiene needs while focusing on doing their best in current circumstances of COVID-19.
Phone A Vet is available for iPhones and androids, and allows you get get veterinary advice by accessing a registered vet surgeon on your phone, using live video, audio as well as typing to communicate.
The video call functionality lets the veterinarian and the animal owner see and talk to each other, and a switch camera button lets the animal owner show the veterinarian the animal and its environment.
A session can take place anywhere as long as you’ve got mobile reception. This might be the backyard for pet owners, down the paddock for farmers, or the side of the road for wildlife rescuers.
Here’s how it works:
• Use your e-mail address and mobile phone number to register.
• Select a veterinarian from the list of those online.
• Upload the details of your animal.
• Describe your problem.
• Upload any relevant photos or videos.
• Confirm your session and pay by credit card entered directly into the app.
• The veterinarian will accept your request and send you a notification (notifications must be enabled in the phone’s settings). You’ll be able to see the veterinarian’s name, location and area of expertise.
• The veterinarian may ask for further information via chat before starting the video call.
• Once the video call has started, you and the veterinarian can see and talk to each other and you can use the rear camera switch to show the animal and its environment.
• When the video call is completed, the veterinarian will send closing notes via the chat function within the app.
• Finally, rate the session to provide feedback to the veterinarian and PAV to help us improve the service.
• If a veterinarian you want is offline, you can request PAV to notify you when that veterinarian comes online.
Phone A Vet veterinarians are registered in Australia meaning they are fully qualified to a standard where they can practice in Australia. There are veterinarians with expertise in farm animals, companion animals, wildlife, fish, birds, reptiles and more.
The tele-veterinary-advice service that Phone A Vet offers does have limitations, especially when it comes to making a diagnosis if the animal is sick or injured, as the veterinarian is giving advice without being present with the animal. Animal owners using the Phone A Vet app must be aware of this.
If the animal has been involved in a major accident or is suffering from unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, uncontrollable bleeding or other emergency condition you should attempt to have a veterinarian physically attend to your animal without delay. You can try to obtain emergency triage advice via the App however this may not be received in a timely way if veterinarians are not available or network problems are occurring.
Download the app here: https://www.phoneavet.com.au/phone-a-vet-download-your-app-today/
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