Many dogs have benefited from my video consultations during the coronavirus lockdown. Some have had their problem resolved from start to finish and have been discharged with no need for hands-on therapy. For this reason, I’ll continue to offer remote consultations as an optional alternative to my home visits even once infection is no longer a significant risk. Here’s how a video consultation works:
To book an appointment, please phone or text me on 07852 625317 or get in touch using the contact form here . I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Please note that this phone number is for appointments only. If you are looking for general advice, then I recommend that you check out the advice for dog owners section of my website.
Before your first video appointment
On booking your first appointment, I may in some cases prompt you to give your vet’s practice a quick call. This would be to double-check that they are happy for me to oversee your pet’s rehabilitation, and to ask them to email the pet’s clinical history to me (along with any relevant x-rays and scan results). If your vet has already contacted me about your pet, then this won’t be necessary.
Please send some video footage of your pet to me in advance of the consultation. I suggest that you get any video footage to me using WhatsApp or WeTransfer.com . I’ll take a close look at any videos before we speak. Videos do not need to be of very high quality….footage snapped on your phone would be fine. For dogs, it is helpful to see the following:
- Your dog walking. If possible, please include a bit of video footage from each side, and from in front and from behind your dog. NB Don’t worry if that’s not possible: I’ll work with whatever you can send me. If you have someone to help you, then please try to include some footage of the dog walking on a lead.
- Your dog getting up from rest. E.g. you could video your dog laying on her bed, and then call her to come towards you (maybe with a toy or treat to encourage her to get up) so that we can look at how she gets up off the floor.
- Very helpful: Please try to include a “video walk-through” of where your dog lives, including the rooms and parts of the garden or yard that she has access to. This gives me an idea of the flooring, doorsteps, changes of level, types of spaces, and twists and turns in the home and garden that the dog has to manage, and helps me to give you best advice. E.g. you could start in the garden and show that space, then show the doorstep as you walk in through the garden door, and continue through the home room by room. Remember to include where the dog usually eats, rests and sleeps. A series of photos is fine as an alternative to this if you prefer.
- If there’s anything else that you’d particularly like me to look at then you’re very welcome to send video footage or photos. E.g. perhaps your dog is licking at a limb and you’d like to discuss whether or not this might be pain-related; or perhaps there is a subtle lameness and you’d like to send me footage of your dog trotting, running off-lead, turning or climbing/descending steps.
Video consultation fees
First consultation: £60
Follow up consultation: £43
What to expect from your video appointment
The first appointment takes 1 hour, and follow-ups are around 40-60mins. As routine, I don’t ask the owner to show me their dog during the consultation, so your pet can just relax while we’re talking.
Remote consultation involves a lot of discussion. I also share my screen from time to time, e.g. to explain clips from the videos that you’ve sent me, to point things out on your dog’s x-rays if needed, or to show you relevant photos or video footage.
I’ll ask you some questions about your animal when we first meet online (anything that isn’t clear from the animal’s previous clinical history) and give you a chance to explain your concerns. Then I’ll give you some advice. This usually includes home advice specific to your dog, handling tips and advice on the type and amount of exercise. After the consultation, I’ll send you a link so that, if you would like to do so, you can download recorded sections of our discussion. These recorded clips from our consultation are labelled so as to be a useful reference for you, e.g. “new exercise-Sit to walk”, or “Activities to avoid”.
Over a course of sessions, I prescribe and adjust an exercise and activity plan tailored to your dog. We also discuss painkiller medication doses, diet (I’ll formulate a diet plan for your pet if needed), signs of pain or limb fatigue for you to watch out for and, if appropriate, we can talk through other issues related to your pet’s quality of life. If exercises are prescribed then I teach these online by talking the process through, demonstrating with a toy dog and by sharing my screen to show you a video of other dogs and handlers doing the exercise.
Follow-up can involve further video consultations or, for cases living local to me in North Herts (UK), home visits may be arranged depending on the current covid situation.
For follow-up video consultations, it is very helpful if the client can send me a bit of fresh video footage before each follow-up. This allows me to recheck the dog’s gait. If there’s someone who can video you doing any prescribed exercises with the dog than that is always very helpful to see.
I send a written report to your dog’s usual vet after the first consultation and then further reports as and when needed.