With veterinary practices busier than ever before, you may be struggling to get a veterinary appointment. Registering with a mobile vet may be an alternative way to increase your likelihood of securing an appointment at a time which works best for you. And in many parts of the UK, people are registering with a “Mobile Vet” as their first port of call! So, below we will discuss the pros and cons of using a mobile vet.
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No transport needed
Mobile vets come to visit you directly at your house. This can be very useful if you do not drive yourself or need to car-share with a friend or partner. Some pets will become very stressed from a car journey, or just visiting the vet practice; therefore you may prefer not to transport your pet. If an animal becomes stressed, results from blood tests etc may be less accurate due to stress hormones being released. If your pet is extremely ill, having the option for a vet to come to your home will reduce the amount of stress to both you and your poorly pet.
Additionally, if you have lots of pets who all need veterinary attention at the same time, having the veterinary professionals come to your house may save time. As pets get older and their mobility becomes limited, getting them in and out of a car could be painful or even cause damage to their joints. End of life care is therefore often preferred in the familiar environment of their own home.
At home euthanasia is becoming more and more popular with many believing it is the most peaceful place for a pet to pass away. Many mobile services are euthanasia only. If euthanasia is performed within your own home, you have the chance to personalise the setting more; surrounding your pet with familiar smells, sights and sounds, and more of the family can be present.
Mobile vets are generally more expensive per consult than ordinary vets. This is to cover the extra time needed for transport, insurance and for additional costs. You should always be made aware of the consult fee prior to booking a consultation. Make sure you register with a mobile vet who is located close to you. This will allow the vet to travel to your house quicker and if they charge per mile travelled, the overall fee should be smaller.
Mobile veterinary surgeons will have access to a smaller range of drugs and equipment. This is simply because they cannot fit everything into their vehicle. If your pet requires diagnostic imaging or hospitalisation, for example, taking them to a “bricks and mortar” veterinary practice would be necessary.
Receiving results from tests such as bloods or urinalysis may take longer for a mobile vet, as they may not be able to process the blood or urine samples until the end of the day. And therefore delay a diagnosis from being made.
Increasingly, mobile vets are operating either in partnership with, or even setting up their own, “base practices” which may offer the best of both worlds.
A mobile vet will spend more of their time travelling between people – or areas – so it’s likely that they will have fewer appointments available per vet. That said, some do offer “area days” where they set up like a “pop-up” surgery… but overall, they usually have slightly fewer appointments available. However, it is important that you try to use the same veterinary practice for as much of your veterinary care as possible. This is because it allows thorough medical history notes to be created and stored. This is useful for veterinary professionals as they are able to read about previous diagnoses, medications that have been used and responses to medications amongst many things. Regular monitoring and recording of weight is important, especially in older animals, as weight loss is one of the most common symptoms of disease onset.
Having veterinary attention within your own home allows the veterinary surgeon to analyse the pets living in their own environment. This can be especially useful if you have an exotic pet where husbandry is extremely important but challenging to achieve. This could also be useful if your pet suffers from severe allergies as the vet can potentially identify the cause.
To conclude, registering with a mobile vet is a newer option for veterinary services. It gives you added options for veterinary care. We do not recommend registering with multiple different veterinary practices as continuity is very important. But with more and more practices having a mobile vet (and mobile vets having a practice!), this is becoming less of an issue. And on occasion, it might help improve the veterinary care able to be provided to your pet.