Hey all you cool cats and kittens: The veterinary industry is going virtual in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. “We’ve seen a significant uptick in telemedicine,” said Dr. Aaron Smiley, president of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association. “Veterinarians are essential businesses. We keep going to work, but our patients can largely stay at home.”
If you’re feline bad: Smiley offers his services through telehealth platform Medici, which saw overall veterinarian registration for telemedicine spike by 48% in March. Its pet telehealth consultations also rose by 170% month over month.
For patients, a service fee is generally added to the primary costs set by the veterinary practice. A portion of the fee goes to the doctors, while the rest compensates the telehealth company providing the technology.
Cat-astrophic news: Virtual vets will be needed because, on Wednesday, two pet cats in New York state tested positive for the coronavirus after showing signs of respiratory illness. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that this is a ploy by cats to make everyone leave them alone.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the outbreak, said there is no evidence that animals can transmit the virus to humans, although humans can infect animals.