“Telapets” website offers virtual veterinarian visits for non-emergencies in Hawaii

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With confirmed COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in the state, officials are bringing back restrictions across the islands to stop the spread of the virus.

But what if your pet needs to see a vet?

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“Vet clinics are overwhelmed. People are adopting pets, people are paying closer attention to their pets,” said Jenna Wallace.

The veterinarian sees patients in-person at Makawao Vet Clinic on Maui.

Wallace also helped launch “Telapets,” a telemedicine website geared specifically for pet owners seeking non-emergency care for animals.

“Telemedicine in veterinary medicine can be very useful, as long as the clients and veterinarians do know the limitations. Veterinarians cannot treat life-saving things over the phone, nor should we.”

Wallace developed a questionnaire that pet owners must fill out before starting the video consultation, so the vet has a better understanding of your pet’s needs.

If your pet can be treated over video, the vet will prescribe meds. “For some clients, I’ve called prescriptions to Costco or Walmart or they can be mailed to them directly.”

Wallace says virtual consultations has its advantages.

“When I have patients that I recheck in two weeks or 10 days, I tell my older clients to just call. Let’s do a telemed conversation. If my client is 70-years-old, I don’t want you to make multiple trips to the veterinarian. I have a client that doesn’t have a vehicle and needs flea prevention. I can prescribe that without a problem.”

However, Telapets can’t take away from in-person visits for life-threatening emergencies, said Wallace.

“Telemedicine is wonderful. It does have its limitations. It can be appropriately used. At this time we want to keep foot traffic down to a minimum especially with our older clientele. I want to mitigate that risk by helping some things.”

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