Pros and Cons of Veterinary House CallsPublished January 30, 2013
House call veterinary care is of course, far less stressful for both the pet and guardian. While Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital offers a separate waiting room just for cats, just the scent and sound of canine patients waiting in the next room is often anxiety provoking for our kitties.
When Dr. Holder and her technician drops by our house to take care of our cats, their visit more resembles a relaxed social call resulting in Dr. Hush Puppy and Sir Hubble Pinkerton being far less anxious, therefore easier to handle.
Not having to lug heavy carriers back and forth to and from the hospital is a major benefit for both cat guardians and their kitties. And dogs who are mobility challenged may require staff assistance just in order to transport them from the car to the clinic. According to veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney, dogs who become overstimulated with the unfamiliar sights, scents and sounds greeting them when they arrive at the veterinary clinic; if they are not adequately leash trained, should they start lunging and jumping anxiously in all directions, they are at risk of neck injuries.
Another benefit of house call care is lowering a pet’s risk of exposure to contagious diseases. Similar to humans being cared for in a hospital setting, our pets are more likely to come into contact with Infectious organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. And while these agents can also be carried on the clothing and hands of veterinary personnel, I am of the opinion that during a house call, pets may be at less risk of exposure.
Since a veterinary house call is generally more informal and less rushed than an office visit, it provides an excellent opportunity for clients to ask any questions they may have about their pet’s care and possible treatment plans, and also to give feedback to their practitioner about what they may have been noticing about their pet’s health and behavior.CONS
Unless your practitioner has a portable x-ray or ultra-sound machine, there are certain important diagnostic procedures that cannot be offered during a home visit. Additionally many surgical interventions must be performed within the confines of a controlled hospital environment.
With the increased cost of fuel, and extra time and travel that house call visits demand, the monetary rate for house calls have been on the rise. But as far as this writer is concerned, the benefit to pets and their guardians for ordinary routine care at home is well worth the extra fee.
Share what other benefits and/or cons you may have about house call veterinary care in a comment.