Veterinary Telehealth for Atopy
Atopy is an extremely frustrating and time-consuming diagnosis of exclusion. This medical condition often involves many diagnostic tests and therapeutic trials to see what works for the individual pet. Client communication, patient symptoms monitoring, and frequent rechecks are vital for a successful medical outcome. Integrating Anipanion’s telehealth platform into your atopic case management can provide better access to your pet parents, allow for more frequent monitoring of symptoms, and will free up exam rooms, all while increasing client satisfaction.
Here are ways to use telehealth while managing an atopic patient:
Give new clients the option of a personalized meet and greet prior to the appointment so they know what to expect. This will make the in person appointment more efficient and ease some of the client’s anxieties. Schedule a real-time video session to discuss:
- Curbside protocol if applicable
- Explain what will happen at the appointment
- Provide documents that need signatures
- Collect deposit if appropriate
Instead of playing phone tag with your pet parent, schedule a real-time video session to discuss diagnostic results. This personalized interaction will allow time for the pet parent to focus and ask questions, while communicating remotely with you. This added service will save phone lines while showing value in your time spent with the client.
- Discuss culture, biopsy, cytology, and/or allergy testing.
- Explain atopy in general; causes, symptoms, chronic management
Once a diagnosis of atopy has been made, discuss a treatment plan with your client. This usually lengthy discussion can be performed with Anipanion’s real-time video session. Discussing the multimodal approach with the pet parent and the need for chronic management will set client expectations and lead to a better medical outcome for the pet. The treatment plan additionally has to be in sync with not only the pet needs, but the pet parent’s lifestyle, seasons , travel, ability to treat, and financial means- making this discussion extremely important. Some pet parents are not able to bathe their pets 2-3x times weekly or can not afford monthly Apoquel. Others may not commit to a hydrolyzed food trail or have a pet that will not take oral medications. Knowing this information will allow you to make the best therapeutic recommendations for your client and their atopic pet.
- Flea prevention
- Environmental allergen control
- Dietary trials
- Topical Therapeutics
- Oral medications
- Monoclonal antibodies
Symptom Follow Ups
Knowing how a patient’s symptoms are responding to a specific therapy is vital in atopic management as much of the treatment process can be trial by error. What works well for one atopic pet might not work for another. Check in frequently to see how a patient is responding to a food trial, Apoquel medication, or sublingual hyposensitization. Provide homework for the pet parent to track symptoms. Providing a virtual way to communicate this information, rather than requiring an in-person appointment, will improve client compliance. See table below.
- Any new or worsening symptoms
- Itching on a scale of 0-10 (0: no itching, 10: itching won’t stop, self-mutilation, unable to sleep due to itching)
- Taking medications well
- Next steps to take if symptoms have worsened
- In house visit
- Change in dosing
- Additional therapy needed
Atopy usually comes with a big pharmacy, many medications, and lots of refills. Allow your pet parents to request refills during or after hours with Anipanion. This frees up phone lines, keeps clients purchasing meds in house, and gives clients the flexibility to request meds when the pet parent has time.
Schedule in-Hospital Exams and Procedures
Forward book in-hospital experiences. This can be done during any telehealth session or the client can book themselves on the Anipanion app. This can be anything related to the patient’s medical condition or can be something else, such as a nail trim, vaccinations, or a skin recheck.
Atopy’s chronic nature and frequent need of the veterinarian’s time make telehealth a very valuable service when managing this health condition. Give your clients and your staff a virtual option to help these itchy pets