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Can Online Vets Prescribe Medication?

online vet prescription

Veterinary care, like most things, has changed a lot in the last few years. While some vet appointments must still be done in person, there are others that can be performed just as effectively online. 

Online vet appointments’ added convenience and affordability make them an excellent choice for many pet parents, but did you know that online vets can also prescribe medication? 

Hello Ralphie is one of the few online platforms where veterinarians can prescribe your pet medication if you live in a state that requires no VCPR (veterinarian-client-patient-relationship), or you live in a state where a virtual VCPR is allowed.

You can use this interactive map to find what your state requires, or click on the chat icon at the bottom right of your screen to chat with Hello Ralphie support about online prescriptions.

 

What is Veterinary Telehealth?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), veterinary telehealth is a tool of practice, not a separate discipline of veterinary care. It involves telecommunications and other information technologies for delivering professional veterinary services. The term telemedicine often refers to when a veterinarian virtually prescribes a pet medication.

Most medications prescribed by online veterinarians are non-controlled substances such as antibiotics, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, skin ointments, and medicated shampoos. 

 

Is a Virtual Appointment Right for Your Situation?

While telehealth appointments can save both time and money, they may not suit every medical scenario. If you’re unsure whether a telehealth appointment is right for you or uncertain about what your state allows, we are here to help. 

You can reach our support team through our website, phone, or email:

  • Click on the chat icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Call or text (917) 259-0518
  • Email us at support@helloralphie.com

Here are some common issues that virtual vet visits can be great for: 

A telehealth appointment can also be a convenient option for exotic or pocket pet owners that may not have access to an exotic vet nearby. Hello Ralphie vets specialize in cats, dogs, exotics, pocket pets, and large animals. 

Benefits of Veterinary Telehealth Appointments

There are many reasons why you may choose a telehealth appointment over an in-person one. Here are a few benefits of booking a virtual vet appointment. 

Triage and Stress-Relief

When you have a potential medical emergency with your pet, you want answers right away. A virtual visit with a qualified veterinarian can quickly assess your pet’s situation and determine whether they need immediate medical attention or not. 

A telehealth appointment can offer next steps for you, whether that’s a referral to an in-person clinic or a prescription to treat your pet’s condition (telemedicine).

Speaking with a vet online can remove the stress of driving to the vet and waiting for answers, and it can also save an expensive visit to the emergency clinic. 

Preventative Care for Your Pet

As a pet parent, you may have many questions, especially if you have a new animal. With Hello Ralphie, you have quick access to online veterinarians that can guide you through how to prepare and what to expect. Not sure what you should be feeding your puppy or senior pet? Is there a strange behavior that your pet is exhibiting, and you’re unsure if it’s serious? We are here to help. 

With virtual vet visits, the appointments are on your schedule. You can book a telehealth appointment when you want, from wherever you are, to discuss nutrition, prevention, new puppy and kitten advice, and more to help your pet live the happiest, healthiest life possible. 

More Comfortable for Your Pet

From loading up in their carrier to the drive to the actual exam, in-person vet appointments can be very stressful for your animal. 

With telehealth appointments, your pet can speak with a veterinarian from the comfort of your own home without the added stress of travel. These appointments are beneficial for pet parents whose pets suffer from anxiety while in their crate or at the vet. 

Online appointments at home can also offer a veterinarian a view into your pet’s environment (if you wish), offering greater insight into behavior issues or assessing some of your pet’s symptoms in their natural environment. 

Convenience

There’s no denying that a virtual pet appointment is simply more convenient than an in-person appointment. No taking off work or canceling plans—you can schedule a same-day appointment or book a time in the future that fits your schedule.

Remote vet appointments can also be more accessible than in-person appointments. There has been a significant vet care shortage across all states, making scheduling appointments more difficult and waiting times longer than usual. 

Also, if you simply need to get a refill of your pet’s prescription, you can easily schedule a telemedicine appointment.

Covered by Pet Insurance Plans

With the shift to virtual care during the pandemic, many pet insurance plans now offer benefits for veterinary telemedicine. Some of the pet insurance companies that offer coverage for Hello Ralphie telehealth appointments are Embrace Pet Insurance, Fetch (formerly PetPlan), PetFirst, Pets Best and HealthyPaws.

We recommend reaching out to your pet insurance provider to check if they offer coverage for telehealth appointments.

 

Interested in a Telehealth Appointment?

Our licensed veterinarians are online to answer your questions and help your pet get accessible, quality care whether you’re at home or on the go! Sign up for a free account to see available vets in your area for advice and prescription appointments.

If you’re unsure whether your state allows online pet prescriptions, please reach out with your questions. We’re here to help you and your furry loved one.

 

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