Is a telephone consult appropriate/necessary for my pet? In order to provide the best possible care for your pet, ideally we should try to arrange an in home visit where we can examine your pet and discuss all of the important issues you are facing. However, we know that this may not always be possible. For example, you may be located outside of our normal service area, or we may need to just provide more specific advice on your particular situation. To address this need, we now offer telephone consultations. If you would like general information on topics concerning how to make a decision regarding euthanasia, how to recognize if your pet is in pain, options that are available for aftercare, etc., please see our FAQ page. However, if you would like to discuss your pet's unique circumstances (e.g. medical condition, symptoms, etc.) and get specific advice, then a telephone consultation may be appropriate. Telephone consults are typically less than 30 minutes and can provide you with advice on topics such as:
How to evaluate quality of life in your pet
Specific things to look for in your pet to help know when it is time
Options for pain control
Dealing with a paralyzed pet
Discussing care surrounding achieving a "natural" death
Ongoing medication management
Palliative and Hospice care considerations
Please be aware that we generally cannot prescribe any medication based only on a telephone consult (unless we have recently seen your pet). However, we may be able to work with you and your regular veterinarian to find medications that may be effective at helping your pet.
How do I set up a phone consult? To set up a phone consult, either phone or e-mail us (or submit a "New Client Form" by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page) Let us know the best day/time(s) to call for the consultation and include the following information in your initial e-mail or phone message:
Your name and phone number
Pet's name, age, species, and breed
A very brief description of the diagnosis or main problem(s)
We will then return your call or e-mail with a proposed date/time for the consult (daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are possible). Once we agree on an acceptable time, we will contact you regarding setting up a payment. When the time for the consult arrives, Dr. Smith will call you to discuss all of the issues of concern, answer your questions, and develop a plan for the ongoing care of your pet. If appropriate, we will also arrange for any follow up information to be sent or appointments to be made.
How much does a phone consult cost? The cost for the consultation is $75 for up to 30 minutes. If needed, additional time will be charged at $25 for each 15 minutes thereafter. Payments can be made by check or by credit card via PayPal (instructions for payment will be discussed once we've set up the consult, but before the actual appointment).
What information should we have prior to the appointment? In order to use your time most efficiently and ensure that your questions are answered accurately, it is helpful to collect as much of the following information as possible and have it ready for our call:
Name of your pet's regular veterinarian/contact info
List of all medications that your pet is receiving, including dosages
Recent history of the problems facing your pet
Results of any recent testing done by your veterinarian (if you'd like it may be helpful to have your vet FAX your pet's records directly to us at 888-786-4579)