The Ask A Vet service on the Petfix Club website

When I am asked what Petfix Club is all about, my answer can be summed up in this statement: “To provide affordable, high quality, online veterinary advice to everyone, everywhere, all the time”. I know that this may be seen as a lofty, even arrogant, ambition, but in my mind, with the advent of widespread global availability of the internet, I believe this is a realistic goal.

Can animals really be helped without being physically examined?

Of course, there are some caveats about veterinary advice online, and the first is the biggest: it is impossible to make a diagnosis of a sick animal without physically examining an animal. As an experienced vet, I know this first hand. If a dog is coughing, you cannot rule out heart disease as a cause without listening to the animal’s chest with a stethoscope. If a cat is not quite themselves, not eating, and if they have not been seen to pass urine recently, the risk of a blocked bladder can only be ruled out by physically examining the animal. There are many other examples.

But here’s the thing: even without examining an animal, it certainly is possible for a vet to give a great deal of assistance and reassurance when owners are worried about pets. I have discovered this for myself, first hand, over the past twenty five years, answering questions to readers, listeners and viewers in the traditional media of print, radio and television. And now, people can be helped over the internet.

Petfix Club offers a new way of empowering pet owners

Petfix Club heralds a new approach to pet care provision, giving members access to professional advice and tips, as well as the personalised wellbeing pet plan and the DIY triage checker that I have written about before.

The Petfix Club website contains hundreds of articles and videos, explaining minor and major illnesses in the kind of detail that busy vets may not always have time for, helping people to be informed and empowered pet owners. There’s also a comprehensive library on behaviour, firmly rooted in the latest scientific advice on how to deal with common issues such as puppy biting and recall.

Ask a vet Answers one-to-one questions about pets directly

And the key extra service is this: the “Ask A Vet” facility. This is a simple but effective tool. If, after completing the DIY Triage process, watching a video and reading an article or two, you still have questions that you would like to have answered, you can click on the Ask A Vet button. You type in your query, including photos or video if you wish. As soon as we can, either myself or one of the vets from our team will get back to you, with the aim of engaging in a helpful discussion.

The Ask A Vet- service will be available over the Christmas period to answer any questions you may have about your pets. Simply, subscribe to the Petfix Club website, and this will allow you to ask the vet as many questions as you want, all year round, without having to pay anything extra. And the first month is completely free, allowing you to trial it at no charge whatsoever.

When you put all of the above together, I believe that Petfix Club does meet that goal: affordable, high quality, online veterinary advice for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

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Please note that I am unable to answer veterinary questions in comments. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health it is always better to contact your vet.

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