Mobile Veterinarian Care For Your Dog

As Dr. Nancy R. Powel drives her mobile veterinary clinic around Baltimore and its environs these days, she makes house calls to dogs and cats — great and small — like a modern-day James Herriot.

Years ago, Powel read the All Creatures Great and Small books from Herriot, the English veterinary surgeon who wrote about traveling from farm to farm caring for animals in the 1900s“The era might be a little different,” says Powel, who has been providing mobile veterinary care since 2006. “We have better pharmaceuticals and better diagnostic equipment today, but the stories could be the same.”

Mobile veterinary clinics are growing in availability from the San Francisco Bay Area to Orlando, Fla., and everywhere in between.

Based on the old tradition of veterinarians making house calls in farming areas, these services now focus on dogs and cats. Many mobile vets operate from vans or converted RVs equipped with everything they need to administer vaccinations, conduct checkups, do blood work, and treat minor ailments. Some even perform surgeries and are nicknamed “neuter scooters.”

Mobility Veterinary Care Brings Benefits

“I would never go back to a normal veterinary clinic,” says Lynne Moore of Charlotte, N.C., who has three dogs that are visited for care by Dr. Mike Thomann of Greater Charlotte Mobile Veterinary Services. She says her pets are not stressed when Thomann gets there. “They’re not taken into a back room where I can’t be with them. They love him. They jump inside when they see him.”

Other benefits include:

  • Less Stress For Your Dog 

For dogs that don’t travel well, having a vet drive up to your door is a clear advantage. Additionally, the dog doesn’t have to sit in a noisy waiting room for 10 to 20 minutes or more with other animals it doesn’t know.

  • Health Benefits For Your Dog

The mobile vet takes one patient at a time, so your dog isn’t intermingling with other pets that may have contagious ailments. “You don’t have fleas from other pets to contend with,” says Moore.

  • Convenience For the Dog Owner 

The service is perfect for dog owners who have more than one pet, animals that don’t travel well, the elderly or infirm, and people with young children. “I think about the young moms who have an infant on their hip, a 2-year-old by the hand, and a Labrador dragging them across the parking lot,” Powel says. “This way, the infant can nap, the 2-year-old gets a lollipop, and it’s not an all-day ordeal for mom.”

  • Recovery At Home 

When a veterinarian can provide surgery on a mobile basis, the canine patient can often recuperate at home. “They recuperate much faster when they’re at home as opposed to being in the hospital,” says Moore.

Quality of Life for Veterinarians

Veterinarians say they also enjoy life on the road instead of being cooped up in an office. “What appealed to me was that it’s a much more personal service you can provide, and 

you can create stronger bonds with your clients and their pets,” says Powel.

There are sometimes drawbacks, such as when pets have to be referred to an animal hospital because a veterinarian cannot do the procedure on the road.

Many veterinarians say that they would have a hard time returning to an office. “It’s a much more relaxed pace,” says Powel. “For each animal visit, I block off an hour. Some of that includes getting to the home and setting up at each stop. But I can also spend more time with people and do a better job of listening.”

Article written by Author: Elizabeth Wasserman

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