Updated June 25, 2020 - 8:41 am
A Las Vegas veterinarian has created a new online tool to help owners get medical care for their pets over video chat.
VetTriage, launched in April, allows pet owners to consult with a veterinarian when they need immediate advice for cats, dogs, rabbits, birds or other household pets.
About two years ago, Dr. Shadi Ireifej started developing VetTriage. He launched the service in April when the COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for virtual pet medicine.
Ireifej says that the goal of the service is not to replace in-person veterinary care, but to provide a low-cost, accessible and 24-hour option.
“With our services, 80 percent of cases can be managed at home with monitoring, over-the-counter medicine or waiting for the office to open,” Ireifej says. “The other 20 percent, we triage to determine if they need to go to an emergency hospital now or can wait until their general practitioner is open.”
Ireifej has found that several of the nearly 600 clients who have used the $50 service since April have called about their pet’s allergies or gastrointestinal distress, which he says vets can help treat remotely.
“I realized early on that there was a need for telemedicine for pet owners. COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to test those waters,” Ireifej says. “Individuals who are immunocompromised or who have pets who are terrified to go to the vet also need a way that get advice at home.”