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Your Vet Online - a different form of veterinary care

Posted in Our Community @ Jun 13th 2017 - By Dr Leigh Davidson, Your Vet Online
Your Vet Online

A few months ago I came across an interesting online veterinary business - Your Vet Online...

...that offered pet owners online access to veterinarians for advice on potential treatments, further testing or any question about cats, dogs, horses or pocket pets. It seemed like an excellent business concept and so I was very interested in finding out more. Dr Leigh Davidson is the veterinarian behind Your Vet Online and has kindly taken  the time to answer a few questions....

Tell us about Your Vet Online & how it works.

Your Vet Online provides pet and equine owners who have animal health questions access to veterinarians 24/7.  We provide a convenient and affordable option for people to get timely advice when and where they need it, advice that is from a qualified veterinarian.  No need to worry, get the correct advice on health, feeding, behaviour…you name it. Your Vet Online is also the only service that covers all animals, expecially horses.

When people have a question they can head over to Yourvetonline.com and book a consult.  This takes them to a page where they can choose whether to sign up to be a member, have a one off consult or a 'quick question' option.

One off consults are $49.95 for around 15 minutes (we don’t time).

We also offer a 'Quick question' option for $14.95 which offers pet owners the option to fill in a pre-set online form and receive an emailed reply.

Membership is $14.95/mth and works as a credit system – essentially $14.95 a consult, but you pay monthly.

Once paid, you can log in to the special area and start a chat with the vet. 

Photos can be uploaded and if necessary we can use video to assess the situation.

How did you go about setting it all up? The website and branding look great!

This idea has been whirling around in my head for quite some time.  Basically, I left a job and thought it was time.  I joined the Founder’s Institute and developed the idea there. 

The whole business has all been bootstrapped from personal savings.  It’s tough!  I’ve learnt to code, design, be a marketer, copy writer….everything!

Do you have other vets working with you?

We have about 50 vets who are available to work as required. 

Is this now your full-time job?

Sure is.

How do you go about giving veterinary advice when you can’t see the pet?

Many questions don’t require an examination. These can be questions like what’s the best parasite control, food to feed, how to stop my pet or horse doing a particular behaviour? Often we might get a query about a wound, we can view this via video link or pictures. Good history taking is absolutely paramount. If a query indicates that they need to see a vet, then of course we advise that.  We also help people to find a vet, we prepare them with the questions to ask and we warn them about what the vet might want to do i.e. “the vet will want to take blood, urine and perform an abdominal ultrasound".  We have had feedback from vets that we actually do the hard work for them as clients are very prepared when they do come in for a hands on consult.

Where do most of your questions come from?

Australia

What are the most common questions you receive?

Skin conditions, behavioural problems, feeding and wounds.

How do you see the service you offer as complementing traditional veterinary practices?

Access to online information is here to stay.  People want information when they think of it, they don’t want to wait.  Vets need to realise that we need to become more accessible…and that doesn’t mean offer advice for free….which is what every vet does on a day to day basis.  We give far too much away.  Think of all those phone calls your nurse fields?  How could they be monetised? 

Pet and equine owners are always searching for information, but there aren’t enough vet voices out there.  If we don’t step up, animal welfare is going to suffer….we already see this now.  Your Vet Online is a way to educate people on what they need to do to keep their animal’s healthy.  It doesn’t replace a traditional hands on service, it provides an adjunctive service which educates and readies the client for more care if required. It means people aren’t left guessing if they are doing the wrong or right thing…they can receive personalised, authoritative advice that empowers them to care for for their animal appropriately.  

I notice from 7pm – 9pm on a Tuesday you also offer a free veterinary advice – how does this work?

Every Tuesday between 7-9pm AEST people have the opportunity to try out a consult for free.  They can provide a donation for the vets too if they find the information of value. 

Congratulations on launching your VIP Program – how does it work and how do pet owners benefit from joining?

This membership program entitles pet and equine owners to vet care when they need it.  Consults are heavily reduced and you pay a monthly fee for consult credits.

Members have access to a special Face Book Group where they can ask non-specific animal health questions and learn more about animals.  They get access to a library of in depth articles that the general public don’t have access to.  They have discounts to products.

I notice you’ve got a ‘Vet Finder’ section – are all vets on there? If not how does a veterinary practice go about getting their details added?

This is still being developed.  We have some exciting news in the future about this but if vets would like to be a part of 'Vet Finder' they can email me on vets@yourvetonline.com to find out more.

How do you promote Your Vet Online?

Your Vet Online can be found on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.

Any questions about Your Vet Online? Just ask Leigh in the Comments section below.

About Leigh

Dr Leigh hails from NZ, trained at Massey University and now resides in Australia….although still firmly calls NZ home

Registered in both NZ and Australia, Dr Leigh has over 17 years’ experience in clinical practice (small animal, equine and ruminant), pharmaceuticals and practice ownership.

One of Dr Leigh’s favourite past times (aside from cheering on the All Blacks) is educating pet parents to be the best advocate possible for their pet.  Dr Leigh is active on many forums helping owners with questions they may have.

Comments

Sandra Baxendell @ Jun 27th 2017 6:53pm
I am interested in your business and answering goat questions. I am on Pinterest, Twitter Youtube and Facebook already . What does the Vet surgeons Board think about this- I always give a disclaimer statement then only give general advice
Judy @ Jun 28th 2017 10:28am
Hi Sandra, thanks for stopping by. I'll make sure Leigh sees your comment and then she can respond. Regards Judy
Leigh Davidson @ Jun 28th 2017 4:06pm
Hi Sandra Thanks for your question. Please email me directly re the opportunity to answer goat questions. With regards to the vet board, I would suggest you make your own enquires. Thanks for taking an interest! Leigh

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