We are excited to offer an affordable and convenient option to pets and their owners who are existing clients. Our new telemedicine app is called Medici. (We have downloading instructions at the bottom of this page). You can video chat with the veterinarian, show/email photos of problems, and get help for your pet quickly! We can prescribe medication and offer a diagnosis without making a house call and examining your pet in some cases. This practice is referred to as “telemedicine,” and it saves you, the pet owner, time, money, and loads of anxiety!
When you are a patient of a “traditional” vet clinic and your pet gets sick, what do you do? You call and talk to a receptionist. Sometimes the pet is very ill and needs to be seen promptly. Other times it is minor, and if you could only talk to the doctor, she might be able to prescribe a medication without you having to haul your pet in for a visit, take time off work, wait in the waiting room, pay $50+, and get home 1-2 hours later. You ask the receptionist, and they insist you come in.
These clinics typically tell you to schedule an appointment, regardless. You rarely get to talk to a doctor unless you are in an exam room.
With our house call practice, our receptionists are in constant contact with one of our veterinarians. Call, email, or text us, tell us a little bit about what’s going on, and one of 3 things will happen:
- We answer a quick question (what was that pepcid dose again?) and you’re done.
- We schedule a telemedicine appointment.
- We schedule a house call.
The legal requirements for me or Dr. Boeren to conduct telemedicine consults are for us to have a valid Veterinarian-Client -Patient Relationship, or a VCPR. Any animal Dr. Laura or I have examined within the last 12 months has an established VCPR with us as a practice. If we have not seen your pet in over 12 months, our VCPR is no longer valid until we perform a physical examine on your pet, in person, again. We cannot legally sell or prescribe any medications via our telemedicine option until we examine your pet and re-establish that relationship. This is the legal definition, not mine.
Telemedicine consults cost $38, which is a fraction of the cost of an appointment, and only take 10-15 minutes. These are intended to replace the lengthy text and email exchanges that are inefficient and can delay my helping your pet. After our consult, I will enter the results in the medical record, similar to an appointment. I can arrange medications to be picked up same day at our Belleville clinic, can mail them, or a handful of medications can even be called into a human pharmacy for prompt pick-up. If we conduct a telemedicine consult and determine we really need to examine your pet in person, the telemedicine consult is no charge.
What types of problems are suitable to telemedicine? Here are a few possible examples, but of course, every case is an individual.
- Itchy skin / rashes/ear infections in a dog who has them often.
- Diarrhea or loose stool in a dog or cat who is otherwise acting fine
- Cats urinating outside the litter box who have a history of this problem
- Sneezing but otherwise acting healthy
To get started:
You can search for and download the Medici app for free in the App Store and on Google Play. You’ll need to set up an account. The app talks about human doctors, since that how it was started, so don’t panic.
- If it asks if you have an activation code, you don’t need one.
- Once you get your account created, you’ll search for your vet. Both Dr. Karen Louis and Dr. Laura BOEREN are using this telemedicine app!
- Searching for your vet(s) is easy. Enter last name (please note my last name is LOUIS, not LEWIS) and city (Belleville) and we both are the first ones!
- Click add, and we’ll receive a notification you’d like to connect. We try to verify those and accept same day.
- Simply adding up/connecting does not initiate a telemedicine consult, it just gets you set up for one in the future…when your dog just ate chocolate covered raisins laced in mouse poison and you just can’t think straight. 🙂