(Virginia Beach, Va., March 26, 2019) – Animal Vision Center of Virginia is breaking new ground in ocular care for animals by offering telemedicine consultations for their veterinary partners and existing clients. It is the first veterinary ophthalmology practice in Virginia and among the first in the U.S. to provide a remote real-time evaluation experience in partnership with the TeleVet mobile app.
“Telemedicine consultations allow us to bring our practice to our clients for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment in real time, when they are unable to bring their pets to us,” said Dr. Heather Brookshire, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and owner of Animal Vision Center of Virginia. “It’s convenient for our referring veterinarians when they need help with an urgent case or a second opinion, and it’s a practical option for existing clients whose pets don’t travel well or become anxious away from home.”
Brookshire and her staff began offering telemedicine consultations last fall using TeleVet, the remote healthcare application and online platform that allows veterinary clinics to treat their patients remotely when a veterinary-client-patient relationship has been established. After downloading the Televet mobile app on their smart phones or tablets, general veterinarians and clients can set up an account and submit a consultation request to Animal Vision Center of Virginia, along with the pet’s case history, images and videos that show what they are seeing. Brookshire then evaluates the case and determines the next steps for ocular care.
Helping Clients Near and Far
One of the practice’s first telemedicine cases was Corky, a Yorkie with chronic dry eye. His owner lives on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and it was difficult for her to make the two-hour trip to the clinic for a follow-up appointment. Corky had been on three different medicated eye drops with no noticeable improvement. By viewing images that the owner sent in advance, and communicating with her remotely, Brookshire provided an assessment, adjusted the follow-up care and submitted a new prescription order the same day.
For a referring general veterinarian, Brookshire was able to evaluate and discuss the doctor’s concerns about Petey, a cat showing signs of entropion (a condition in which the eyelid is rolled inward causing irritation of the eye by the lashes) and a corneal ulcer. The veterinarian wanted to know which condition should be treated first. Through communication and views of Petey’s affected eye, Brookshire recommended continuing the medical therapy the doctor had begun to heal the ulcer, and then reassessing the entropion. If still present after the ulcer had healed, the entropion would require a surgical correction.
As a result of telemedicine technology, Brookshire is also able to consult with veterinarians located in different states and in regions lacking sufficient coverage by the limited number of veterinary ophthalmologists present in the U.S.
According to Today’s Veterinary Business website, the future of telemedicine is bright, and veterinarians and specialists who integrate the technology into their practices will better serve their clients and patients. While convenient and growing in demand, however, telemedicine consultations cannot replace all visits to the clinic, advised Brookshire.
“Eyesight quality is an integral part of a pet’s overall health, and we still recommend an examination in our clinic for new patients, checkups and when major eye issues surface,” she said. But for follow-up appointments, a second opinion and anxious animals, telemedicine consultations are the way to go.”
For more information about telemedicine consultations call (757) 749-4838 or visit www.animalvisioncenterva.com/telemedicine.