Vets can make house calls?
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
That's right, and I'm not alone. Many people don't realize that there are veterinarians all across the country who will make house calls and treat your pets in the comfort of your own home. So let me provide a little insight into The Village Vet --- who I am, how I got started, and what services I can provide.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time working with my local large animal vet going on farm visits. We treated everything from cats to cattle, but part of the practice was also spending time with the families at each stop. After each visit was a few minutes spent just catching up - you got to know the family, not just the pet. I considered this a normal part of the job as a veterinarian. I went on to graduate from vet school, joined the United States Army Veterinary Corps and then worked in traditional "brick and mortar" vet clinics in New England, but found myself missing the connections I made previously doing farm calls. In a traditional clinic, you often have limited time with each family, each patient, as there are other appointments waiting and calls coming in, so I decided to open The Village Vet and make house calls, providing personalized veterinary care for your family.
During an appointment, I start with the same history and comprehensive examination that you would receive at a traditional, "brick and mortar" clinic. I carry a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, otoscope to examine the ears, and ophthalmoscope to evaluate the eyes. I have a scale that can weigh pets up to 200lb (after that and we'll make an educated guess). I have a full range of vaccinations and routine tests (such as annual heartworm tests), depending on what your pet needs. I carry a limited pharmacy that covers most urgent needs, and have an extensive online pharmacy for all other medications (delivered right to your doorstep within a week). I also have portable laboratory equipment, such as a centrifuge for running bloodwork and a microscope for testing ear and skin infections. For those who like to travel, I'm also accredited by the USDA to write health certificates for both domestic and international travel (but please plan ahead!).
Housecalls provide me with more time to spend with your family (both 2 and 4 legged members) and I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with everyone. I'll explain what I'm seeing during the exam. If your kids are interested, they can listen to their new puppy's heartbeat. If you have questions, we'll answer them together. My goal is for you to leave (although I suppose technically I'm the one "leaving") feeling empowered with the knowledge you need to continue with your pet's well being.
So, what are the limitations of a housecall veterinarian? Well, since I travel to see you, I may be on the other side of the county if an emergency arises. If your pet is having trouble breathing, has active seizures, or was in an accident, then I recommend you bring them to the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic (listed here). I can help with follow-up exams and long-term management, but emergency hospitals are best equipped to handle these cases and their treatment may save your pet's life. The other limitation is for surgeries and x-rays, but these are usually either performed in an emergency setting or they are things we can plan for. I can work with you to find a clinic nearby that can perform these services, or you can contact a veterinarian that you have worked with previously. With your permission, I am able to share my medical records with other clinics to facilitate these appointments.
Phew - that's a lot! I know that it can be overwhelming picking a veterinarian for your pet, and I hope this helps to clear up some of the questions about what a housecall veterinarian is and what services I can provide, but you can always reach out with any additional questions you may have by using the form here. In short, I can provide the majority of your pet's healthcare needs right in the comfort of your own home.
Ready to schedule an appointment? You can fill out the online registration form to start the process of scheduling an appointment.
See you soon!
- Dr. Johnson