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What to expect from our video consultations

With the UK currently in coronavirus lockdown and all but essential travel banned, Knutsford Vets have introduced video consultations to ensure you and your pet still get the support you need. We’ve answered some key questions about video consultations so that you know what to expect.

Why might a video consultation be recommended?

Currently, the UK is in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic and all but emergency/essential travel is restricted. Here at Knutsford Veterinary Surgery we are still open and providing care to our patients but to protect our staff we are limiting our face to face appointments. This means we have to triage our patients and see only essential life or welfare threatening emergencies.

Video consultations offer us a chance to obtain a thorough history from you and with your help perform a general examination. This often allows us to make recommendations and sometimes dispense treatment without you needing to attend the practice.

It’s also now possible for vets to prescribe certain medications remotely during this period thanks to the veterinary governing body, the RCVS, temporarily allowing remote dispensing to ensure the welfare of our animals during this challenging time.

I’m not a whiz at computers, how hard is it to set up?

At Knutsford Veterinary surgery we have tried to make the process as easy as possible. All you need to do is to book an appointment online. You will then be given a unique web address to take you straight to your consultation. The link becomes live 5-minutes before your consultation time. You can follow this link on your mobile device or laptop.

At your appointment time, your vet will appear on the link provided, following the consultation the link will no longer be available.

What should I have prepared to hand for the consultation?

Here are a few simple tips to help us get the most information from your consultation:

  • Ensure you’re in a room with good lighting
  • Have your pet with you
  • Ensure no other noises/distractions are present – eg. other pets, non-essential family members, television, radio.
  • A stopwatch or clock with a second hand – this can help us to obtain a breathing rate or heart rate.
  • Paper and a pen – it may be possible that your vet gives you instructions of things to use to help your pet, writing these down will help you to remember after the consultation.
  • An assistant may help if you are holding a smartphone (or laptop) in case you need to do some checks on your pet.
  • Method of payment for the video consultation (currently only £20 during April) and any medications which may be prescribed by your vet. Medication can be collected from the practice or posted to you.

What might my vet ask me to check?

Initially, your vet is likely to ask you questions about your pet such as:

  • What is your concern?
  • How is your pet generally behaving?
  • Are they eating normally?
  • Are they drinking water?
  • Have they had any vomiting or diarrhoea, coughing or sneezing?
  • Is your pet toileting normally?

Following on from this we may ask you to perform a basic examination of your pet:

    1. Check for any discharge from the nose or eyes or ears.
    2. Check the colour of your pet’s gums and perform a capillary refill time – press on your animal’s gum to blanch (make it go white) and see how long it takes to return to pink.
    3. Checking if your pet’s gums are moist or dry and then checking if their skin tents or quickly returns to normal allows us to assess hydration
    4. Count your pets respiratory rate over 30 seconds – each chest movement in and out is a count of one.
    5. Place flat hands on your pet’s chest just behind the elbows and feel where the heart is – counting how many beats over 15 seconds.
    6. Feeling your pet’s tummy to see if they are uncomfortable, bloated or full feeling.
  1. Other checks will be more dependent on what problem your animal is having.

What are the outcomes of a video consultation?

Video consultations enable your vet to triage the patient, in some circumstances, this is sufficient to diagnose the problem and prescribe treatment. In other cases, it may be that a full clinical examination is required which will lead to an appointment at the practice. If this is the case then the cost of the video consultation will be deducted from the price of a physical consultation (if this exam is performed within 3 days).

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