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Amid pandemic, some pet owners are turning to telemedicine for the first time

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Emily Bergman has had her dog Butter for nearly two years. But this year, Bergman says she started to notice a rash developing around his ear.

“He was licking his rash and just seemed uncomfortable,” said Bergman.

Bergman says she normally would have gone straight to her veterinarian’s office in Noblesville, but because of the stay at home order her vet offered telemedicine as an option.

“It’s not something I ever considered before. I like our vet,” added Bergman.

But Bergman also says she recognized the importance of limiting in person contact and went ahead with her first virtual appointment.

It took a few minutes of watching Butter and looking at pictures for Dr. Kerry Peterson at Pet Wellness Clinics to diagnose Butter with an allergy and prescribe the right medication.

Dr. Peterson says often times the hardest part of telemedicine is pet owners having to do things their vets normally take care of.

For Bergman, that was administering medication. But she says she’s glad she stepped up in the end.

“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just rubbed his belly, sprayed his medication on, and he was happy to just be with me,” Bergman added.

Dr. Peterson says her clinic has been able to diagnose more diseases during COVID-19 than they thought.

With an increase in people staying home, pet owners are noticing abnormal behaviors more. Such as drinking more water and frequent urination.

If you have a pet health concern, it’s recommended you first try telemedicine.

If it’s an emergency or your pet is due for a vaccination, you can always schedule a curbside appointment for your pet to be seen in person.