COVID-19 updates from the week of March 27-April 2, 2020
Missed the last Vet Bytes? View it here.
This special edition of Vet Bytes is dedicated to implementing telemedicine in your practice. With Governor Wolf's recent "Stay At Home" order placed on the entire state, veterinary practices may consider this option to continue services for established patients. The companies listed below are paid advertisers. PVMA does not endorse any specific telehealth platform. Practices should choose the service that best meets their specific needs.
When implemented properly, telemedicine may improve patient triage and clinical outcomes, and benefit patients, animal owners and the veterinary practice. From improving after-hours or hospice care, to making it easier for busy clients to arrange routine checkups and follow-up care for pets, telemedicine offers opportunities to increase access to and utilization of veterinary care – improving the quality of care for patients.

Follow these steps to implement telemedicine successfully in your practice:
  1. Know the rules
  2. Define your service offering
  3. Check your liability
  4. Evaluate your technology and service providers
  5. Train staff, market your new service, and engage clients
We have received a flurry of inquiries regarding Governor Wolf’s executive order that expands the delivery of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because veterinary medicine is considered essential and life sustaining, and falls under the “Medicine” category, this has raised some issues pertaining to veterinary telehealth.

First of all, it is important to consider the underlying purpose of the Governor’s action. Of utmost importance is the mitigation of human-to-human contact as we attempt to slow down the transmission of the virus and to conserve supplies. That is why medical professionals, human and veterinary, are being directed to only provide life sustaining services, or those that would treat illness as well as prevent suffering. Mental and behavioral health service delivery has suffered as a result. The Governor’s order allows these services to continue without face-to-face contact and puts influence on the private medical insurance industry to expand coverage.

Although no Pennsylvania law expressly prohibits the practice of telemedicine, keep in mind that our Pennsylvania Board of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Practice Act clearly states that a VCPR (Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship) is required in order to diagnose, treat and deliver medical services. The necessity of physical exam and an established relationship cannot be overstated. However, we must temper this with human public health and safety, and mitigate interaction with clients.

Therefore, looking at the underlying intent of this executive order, use your best professional judgement when assessing problems that are non-emergencies that can be addressed through telehealth. For companion animal practitioners, some things you may want to consider providing would be the following:

  • Prescribing antibiotics for a seasonal acral lick granuloma for an established patient who seems to get one every spring, based on a phone call or picture.
  • Dispensing methimazole or levothyroxine for an otherwise healthy patient who has been stable on this dose for years, even though periodic blood work may be due.

For food animal veterinarians, the FDA has provided a statement allowing for temporary non-enforcement of certain requirements of the VCPR to allow for more use of telemedicine. This allows veterinarians to prescribe drugs in an extra-label manner or authorize the use of VFD drugs without direct examination of or making visits to their patients, which will limit human-to-human interaction and potential spread of COVID-19 in the community. For the complete article, click here .

Please keep in mind, this is not an opportunity to stretch the practice act or an opening for out-of-state veterinarians to take advantage of this temporary change. According to the PA Media website, those not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the state of Pennsylvania would still need to meet certain professional requirements and to formally petition the State Board of Veterinary Medicine for a waiver. For more information, click here .

Thank you for your understanding and sensitivity during these fraught times.
Below are some telehealth providers to help you implement Telemedicine in your veterinary practice
(in alphabetical order) :
Ask.Vet is a Teletraige service that veterinary practices use for all roll over and after hours coverage (coverage with closures: Holidays, weekends, emergency situations). We employ over 150 US licensed Veterinarians with a minimum of 12 years of experience to provide 24/7 veterinary guidance and support to pet owners. We extend your practice into the living rooms of your clients. We have found that clinics that use our service see a higher level of satisfaction among pet owners and have higher loyalty and retention rates too. Clients love being able to chat with a veterinarian at their time of need. We also help determine if a pet owner needs emergency services immediately or we help them with guidance until they can be seen by their veterinarian.
BabelVet is a telehealth and remote patient monitoring platform that combines the benefits of comprehensive asynchronous messaging with the ability to view client shared pet health metrics. There are three features that set our telehealth platform apart:
  • Custom Client Communications 
  • Teletriage Services 
  • Remote Patient Monitoring 

BabelBark is a free app for your clients that connects them to you via BabelVet. Each work together to provide real time updates on a pet’s health and communication tools to make staying connected easier.
Social distancing doesn’t need to mean revenue distancing for veterinarians. GuardianVets offers a digital communication platform that enables veterinary practices to sustain their revenue stream while preserving the veterinary-pet-client-relationship.

We can help you continue your operations, even in a quarantine.
PetDesk's easy-to-use communication software combines powerful features -
Reminders and Confirmations, Appointment Requests and streamlined telemedicine
tools like Two-Way Messaging and, coming soon, Video Chat with an industry leading
support team. Our support team provides on-going staff training and guidance on
communication best practices to help our customers get the most out of the PetDesk

Plus, our 5-star rated Mobile Health App lets your clients connect with you when and
where they want - request appointments, refill prescriptions, access health records and,
soon a Video Chat - all without a phone call.
PetDesk is a breeze to set up, has customized onboarding and offers a customizable
Loyalty Program.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the landscape of veterinary medicine overnight, and telemedicine has become an imperative in providing care.

VetNOW is a virtual care platform that provides veterinary telehealth services, enabling veterinarians to treat their patients at home or on-farm, and also connect veterinary specialists, virtually and securely from any web-enabled device through real-time video or chat, or through asynchronous text, video, or photos.

During this time of crisis, VetNOW will allow veterinary clinics to continue treating their patients, providing follow-up appointments, emergency triage, even specialty consultations while their facility is closed without the patient or their owner leaving their home.

VetNOW allows you to continue providing quality care to your patients without any risk of exposure to your front-line, while also mitigating the fears of clients concerning travel and public gatherings.

For more information or to request a demo, visit our website, email us at [email protected] or call 412.346.6650.
whiskerDocs is the largest provider of veterinary telehealth services in North America, with nearly 4 million pets covered through our client partners. Our team of licensed veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians is available 24 hours a day via phone, chat, email, and mobile messaging. To learn more, visit our website.

We've handled over 100,000 interactions, all in real time with very little waiting, so that pets can get the help they need as fast a possible.

whiskerDocs' calls and chats are answered within 45 seconds, with some consideration for increased volumes due to COVID-19. Our expert veterinary team can help your clients with everything ranging from toxins and ingestions, signs of illness, behavior and more, and can also provide appropriate telemedicine services, including video consult, if no clinic is available locally (when warranted).

For more information on how we can help (dogs and cats only), contact Nicole Rogers, VP of Operations, at [email protected].
  • What to Do if an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19: FAQs for PA Businesses
  • Minimizing COVID-19 Exposure and Social Distancing in Veterinary Practice
  • Patient Assessment: Is this an urgent appointment or a non-urgent appointment?
  • Wolf Administration: Business Exemption Submission Period Ends Friday, April 3
In addition to the information above, we also have information on:

We are continuing to work diligently to give you timely, accurate information during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We urge you to frequently check our website, , as the information may change.
Employment Spotlight
We are seeking a Full Time Lead Veterinarian/ Chief of Staff to join our talented team of Doctors at our AAHA accredited facility. We have a wonderful team at Warren, driven by the ability to add the personal touch within all of our services in a relaxed environment.

The Lead Veterinarian serves as the clinical leader of the Hospital. He or she is responsible for the ongoing evaluation and management of clinical practices as well as the delivery of patient care. The Lead Veterinarian works in partnership with the Practice Manager to ensure a high standard of medical case management and to provide an excellent experience for our clients and their pets, as well as carrying a clinical caseload similar to your hospital colleagues. For 30 years now, we have been helping to keep the pets of Phillipsburg and the surrounding areas healthy and happy.

Some features of our recently renovated hospital include 6 exam rooms, new surgical and dental suites, a complete in house laboratory, digital and dental radiography, the latest ultrasound equipment for in house diagnostics, as well as laser therapy and acupuncture. Our practice is located near the Lehigh Valley, and is one hour from Philadelphia & New York City. We also have a newly renovated three bedroom apartment on premises available. If you are looking to become a part of a practice that encourages professional growth and development and seeks to continually improve itself and services offered, please contact us today!

Check out our website . We offer a highly competitive salary, health - dental -vision benefits, 401k, generous CE allowance and PTO. Please send CV to  [email protected] .

Animal Emergency Center in Watsontown PA is the result of a collaboration of 10 different veterinary clinics in the area who came together to address the problem of not having emergency care available to our community. And so, our animal hospital was born. Established in 1999, we filled the gap of emergency care by providing urgent care services after hours and on weekends and holidays.

We provide 24-hour emergency, internal medicine, and diagnostic services to pets and their people in the Northumberland County, PA community. Our highly skilled veterinarians and staff are dedicated to serving animals with exceptional emergency and referral care, providing compassion to the people who love them, while supporting the local veterinary community. We are searching for a Veterinarian who wants to be part of a collaborative, family-oriented practice. We genuinely care about our clients and each other. We support each of our doctors with an outstanding benefits package including Health, 401k, CE, and fantastic vacation time.

Please send CV to  [email protected] for an immediate interview.

They have been providing exemplary care with uncompromising compassion to our community since 1994. A small animal practice, providing basic care, as well as advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures with state of the art equipment. If you are seeking reasonable hours & a great quality of life which will not include emergency after hours or on-call this may be the place for you. We have a tremendous, family-oriented staff including three highly collaborative doctors and supporting staff with a high technician to doctor ratio. Fantastic hours for great quality of life! $10K signing bonus included!

Job Responsibilities:
  • Builds a rapport with clients
  • Communicates with clients on topics such as pet diagnosis, treatment plans, nutritional needs, and preventative treatment
  • Performs physical exams and diagnostic-surgical-medical and dental procedures that deliver the highest quality care
  • Stays current with new medical information and changes in veterinary medicine
  • Maintains client-patient medical/surgical records
  • Assists in the development of our team to ensure the highest quality of care and exceptional customer service

We offer a competitive compensation package which includes a strong base salary plus commission bonuses, Health package with dental and vision coverage, 401K, dues, and CE reimbursement. Please send CV to  [email protected].

Are you looking for a state-of-the-art animal hospital where you can practice medicine and surgery in a fun and inviting atmosphere with an amazing team of individuals who support each other like family? Then look no further! Good Hope Animal Hospital, located in Mechanicsburg, PA, is looking for a full-time or part-time Associate Veterinarian to join our growing 7-doctor small animal practice. We are seeking an enthusiastic, energetic, compassionate doctor who thrives in a fast-paced environment and understands the importance of our bonds with clients and patients to join our dedicated staff in our recently expanded and renovated 7000 sq. foot facility. Our hospital treats dogs, cats, and a variety of pocket pets. Responsibilities include seeing appointments and performing comprehensive physical exams/wellness visits, diagnosing and treating cases, client education, and establishing lasting relationships with our patients and clients. Generous employee benefits provided. For more information or to submit your resume, please contact Dr. Robert Heidecker at  [email protected] .

One that offers more work/life balance? We want to hear from you! Our practices in Edinboro, Butler, State College, Williamsport, Chambersburg and York, PA are seeking dedicated Veterinarians to join our team. At National Veterinary Associates we guarantee a healthy, collaborative environment with opportunities for growth. Emergency and Exotic positions available. We're offering sign-on bonus, retention bonus, relocation assistance as well as student loan assistance. Excellent Mentorship. To learn more email me directly at  [email protected]  or visit our  website .

Fantastic opportunity at Animal Clinic at Thorndale. Seeking full or part-time veterinarian. Privately owned practice focused on patient and client care and staff teamwork, rather than “production”. Communication, compassion, learning, sharing, and fun are top priorities. Willing and caring client base. 5 talented CVTs so you practice at the highest level. AAHA accredited. $90,000 to $140,000/year. Flexible scheduling, vacation and personal time, CE allowance, liability insurance, PA and DEA license, PVMA and AVMA dues, health insurance and/or medical expenses reimbursements, SIMPLE retirement, uniform allowance. Mentoring for less experienced. In beautiful Chester County less than 1 hour to Philadelphia. Resume to [email protected].