Virtual Care

Virtual Care allows you to connect with your veterinarian from the comfort of your home. These virtual visits are great for general concerns about your pet, nutrition consults, or behaviour concerns. Our veterinarians are here to provide you with the guidance and answers you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. Your Virtual Care appointment will be booked just like a regular veterinary visit, and you will be speaking with your veterinarian or a veterinarian at our hospital.

Please note, that by their nature, Virtual Care appointments are limited, and certain conditions may require a physical exam and/or additional testing to provide an accurate diagnosis or treatment. If an in-hospital visit is needed, we will be happy to schedule one for you. Please read below to find out more about Virtual Care at VCA Canada. Please call us to see what services we offer. 

What is Virtual Care?

Virtual Care is an extension of your pet’s healthcare that goes beyond the hospital. By using telemedicine, telehealth, and teletriage options, along with the latest technology, we can provide the best combination of services for your pet’s unique situation. 

What are telehealth, telemedicine, and teletriage? 

Telehealth is the overarching term for all veterinary services that are provided digitally, including telemedicine (the use of telecommunications for veterinary care) and teletriage (providing urgent healthcare advice). We typically use telemedicine for non-urgent questions, consults, and follow-up appointments and works best for clients with an existing relationship with our hospital. You can book a Virtual Care appointment with your veterinarian, and connect with them from home. For more urgent advice, we offer teletriage through our 24/7 live chat. Using the myVCA app, you can message with a veterinary professional within minutes, day or night. While we cannot diagnose over live chat, we can provide guidance and recommendations for care at a hospital. Curious if your question is a good fit for Virtual Care? See our non-exhaustive list below for guidance.

How can I talk to a veterinarian?

At VCA Canada, we offer video chat, voice/phone consultations, and instant message communication options for Virtual Care. Please call us to see what options we have available.

Do I have to be on video?

No, we offer different solutions that fit your needs depending on your concern. However, a veterinarian may request that you video your pet during the consultation to assist in their assessment.

How do I access my Virtual Care appointment?

We will send you an email invite to your virtual care visit with instructions and the technology required to start the appointment. We always encourage clients to test out the technology first, to ensure it is functioning correctly. Technology is always evolving, and we will provide you with the most up to date information about our telemedicine options before your appointment.

What kind of appointments can I book using Virtual Care?

Nearly any non-emergency condition appointment can be initiated using Virtual Care to gather patient history, however, a physical exam and additional diagnostics (blood work or radiographs) may be required to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.  We are happy to facilitate this follow up with our contactless drop-off service.  It is important to note that the use of Virtual Care is at the sole discretion of the attending veterinarian and as such not all appointment types listed below may or may not be deemed suitable by all veterinarians in all circumstances.

What sort of appointments can I use Virtual Care for?

  • Triage to determine if your concern is urgent or non-urgent
  • Management of chronic/ongoing conditions
  • Non-urgent medical conditions
  • Nutritional consults
  • Follow-up/recheck appointments (post-surgical and post-treatment initiation)
  • Palliative and hospice care
  • Behavioural consultations
  • Prescription refills for current patients
  • Puppy/kitten information sessions

Appointments better suited for an in-hospital visit:

  • Any urgent or emergency condition
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Respiratory distress
  • Trauma or fractures
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Initial puppy/kitten exams

I am a new client, can I use virtual care for my first appointment?

Depending on the jurisdiction, virtual appointments may require the existence of a Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR). This means that you have seen a veterinarian at our hospital and they have recent or sufficient knowledge about the health of your pet. If you have any questions, please call us to discuss further. 

Request your appointment today!

Request your Virtual Care appointment today or download the myVCA app for all your pet's information. 

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