Telehealth has been growing more popular in the digital age and is being utilized now more than ever. Using telehealth in the delivery of veterinary services offers many benefits for pet owners and provides them direct access to veterinary care in a convenient and safe manner. Telehealth services can facilitate communication, diagnostics, treatments, scheduling and other tasks with your veterinarian.

What is telehealth vs. telemedicine

Telehealth is the overarching term that includes all uses of technology to deliver health information, education or care remotely. Telemedicine is referred to as the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications regarding a patient's clinical health status. However, many people use both terms interchangeably or will use “telemedicine” for all aspects of telehealth.

Logistics of telehealth

The technology built into most smartphones, tablets and laptops provide the necessary audio, visual and data transfer capabilities for a telehealth consult. As with any medical consultation, it is good to keep detailed records, and some telemedicine service providers integrate with management systems to allow for easy capture and storage of the consult.

Tips for a successful telehealth consult

  • Treat your virtual consult as you would a normal in-office veterinary visit
  • Designate a quiet area in your home to avoid distractions during your consult
  • Prepare a list of questions and concerns in advance for discussion
  • Share photos (if applicable) prior to the consult via email in an effort to allow your veterinarian more time to review any visible concerns

When to utilize telehealth

Telehealth is a great tool that can be used for all types of services as long as you have an already established relationship with your veterinarian. If you are seeking telehealth services with a new veterinarian, only general veterinary advice may be given.

If you’re unsure whether your issue can be handled via a telehealth consult, call your veterinarian’s office and they can assist you in determining whether your pet’s needs can be discussed virtually or require an in-office visit.

The Zoetis Petcare Team

The Zoetis Petcare Team

As the world’s largest animal health company, Zoetis develops and creates innovative products that improve the health of your pets. The full line of Zoetis Petcare products are so trusted and effective, they’re in almost every veterinary practice in the country.

  1. 2020 American Veterinary Medical Association. Telehealth & telemedicine in veterinary practice. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/telehealth-telemedicine-veterinary-practice. Accessed March 25, 2020.
  2. 2020 American Veterinary Medical Association. Telemedicine. https://www.avma.org/policies/telemedicine. Accessed March 25, 2020.

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