Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mobile Veterinarian

Is the mobile veterinarian an invention of the United States? Perhaps not but I would bet that there are more in the United States than anywhere else. Mobile veterinarians come to the patient (the cat) and client (the cat's caretaker/guardian). That is really convenient because going to the vet can be stressful for both patient and guardian.

The mobile veterinarian is sometimes referred to as a house-call veterinarian in the US. With people becoming busier all the time, the convenience of a veterinarian who comes to you is very attractive. The mobile veterinarian may also be able to make emergency calls when you simply don't have to time to get to the vet. Elderly people come to mind as suitable clients of mobile veterinarians.

Apparently the typical client is 30-55 years of age and in work. My mother called out a vet to treat Charlie, her three-legged cat. That is in the UK. Vets do come to your home in Great Britain if you pay for it but these vets don't have mobile units.

The biggest downside to using a mobile veterinarian is cost and the service provided might be slightly limited due to the necessity of having everything in a mobile home/clinic.

Mobile Veterinarian Photo copyright Tony Alter (Flickr)

However, house-call veterinarians will be able to provide all the usual services such as: blood testing, examinations, disease screenings, dentistry, preventative care, vaccinations, dispensing medicines plus the added bonus of providing home euthanasia, which is a great comfort for both patient and caretaker.  It is sensible to check the services offered, however, as some mobile veterinarians will be able to provide surgical procedures for example.

American mobile veterinarians will probably charge the usual fee but add a surcharge for travel costs (something in order of $50 - April 2012). If the vet only operates out of a mobile unit he or she should not charge extra because their overheads are probably less than if they were operating out of a building.

In addition to the reduced levels of stress suffered by patients and their caretakers when attending a mobile vet clinic there is also the reduced risk of infection that is at least potentially present at normal veterinary clinics. There are no waiting rooms to sit in.

Thinking of using a mobile veterinarian? You can find one on the The American Association of Housecall & Mobile Veterinarians.

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