CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – Our four-legged friends require lots of attention, especially if they have health concerns, but many aren’t too fond of a trip to the vet.
That’s why one Northeast Ohio Veterinary Hospital is offering virtual visits to make things easier for both the pet and their human.
Telemedicine is a concept that took off during the pandemic for Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital. That helped them reduce risk during a high-transmission period for COVID-19.
During that time, Dr. Tracy Hitchcock and her team found virtual visits help ease the anxiety of pets and owners.
“It’s not just the pet, it’s the client, right? They get anxious when they know the pet is going to be nervous going to the vet,” Hitchcock said. “So, we can see them in their natural environment.”
Jessica Alexander’s cat Marley is one of the many who know they’re going to the vet.
“She knows what the cat carrier is for because she’s only in it for the vet,” Alexander said. “It’s not too much of an issue getting her into the carrier, but the entire ride to the vet she meows constantly. So, it’s a thing.”
Not only are these visits good to keep tails wagging, but they also help people with busy schedules.
“It’s beneficial for established clients, where they have a busy life and coming in for the appointment can be very difficult for them,” Hitchcock said. “Even though we have many availabilities, it’s been helpful to our clients as well.”
She said it’s a perfect option for pets with mobility issues or pets who are in hospice care.
“If we’ve been treating this patient for chronic illness and the owner needs advice for when it’s time to end their suffering,” Hitchcock said. “Also, it works great for clients who aren’t feeling well.”
The service is a bit more expensive than an in-person visit. Oak Tree offers the service for $88. Hitchcock said that can be an easy adjustment for folks who want to save time and stress.
“They just go to our website, there’s a bright blue telemedicine how to schedule. It’s basically a click of a mouse that they need to do.”
For more information on this service, you can head to the Oak Tree website.