An Online Vet Case Discussion

More and more pet owners are finding that they have access to vet care through online services. By using an online vet, they are able to save time, expense, and the headache of taking a pet to the vet hospital every time an illness or injury occurs. Their pets benefit as well because they don’t have to experience anxiety by going into a vet’s office. The following is an example of an actual case that was seen by one of the online vets at TelePAWS.

Sophie’s Story

Sophie* is an 8-year old Dachshund who lives in Florida with her owner, Maryann*. Sophie has been a healthy dog up until recently when Maryann started to notice some concerning symptoms including a hesitancy to jump up on the bed and couch like she normally does, and her back appeared to be more arched than usual.

Sophie is an anxious dog whenever she is in new situations, especially when she goes to the vet’s office. Maryann doesn’t like to see Sophie get so scared, so she decided to research online to find out if there are any online vets that could help her. Maryann was happy to find a vet telemedicine company called TelePAWS.

Appointment With the Online Vet

Maryann made an appointment through the TelePAWS website and a TelePAWS Veterinarian contacted her quickly to set up a time that worked well to meet on Zoom for a teleconference online later that day. Maryann had concerns about Sophie’s comfort and thought she might be in pain, so she was glad that she would be able to meet with a vet online so soon.

During the conference meeting, the Veterinarian was able to watch Sophie walk and see how she moved throughout the house. The Veterinarian was also able to coach Maryann on how to perform a basic neurological and orthopedic exam in order to determine whether or not there were any areas of pain or loss of neurological function.

One test that the Veterinarian had Maryann perform is called conscious proprioception. She had Maryann flip all four feet over so that the tops of the paws were touching the ground. A dog with abnormal neurological function will not sense that their paws are turned over, and therefore will not right them like they should. Thankfully, Sophie’s conscious proprioception was normal. The only abnormality found on exam was an arched mid back that was sensitive to touch.

TeleAdvice for Sophie

The TelePAWS Veterinarian determined that Sophie most likely was experiencing pain due to a herniated disc in her spine. This disease is commonly seen in breeds with longer backs, such as Dachshunds, Corgis, Beagles, Shih Tzus, and others.

Maryann learned, through her time with the doctor, how to recognize the signs of a herniated disc, treatment options, and prevention of symptoms. Thankfully, Sophie’s symptoms were mild, so she did not need to be sent to a neurologist, but the doctor did have some recommendations for treatment.

Treatment and Outcome

The TelePAWS Veterinarian suggested that Maryann should get Sophie three medications – a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory medication, and pain medicine. Maryann was also instructed to strictly rest Sophie for two weeks to allow the herniated disc in her spine to heal.

Over the following two weeks, Sophie improved daily. Maryann was surprised by how rapidly Sophie started to feel more like herself. Before too long, Sophie was enjoying her regular walks and daily routine that she was accustomed to.

*Names have been changed for privacy.

If you have concerns about your pet and would like to talk with an online vet, visit TelePAWS.

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