Ask Dr. B

Hey Dr. B, are house call vets real?

Dr B and Enzo the cat

Yes, veterinarians do make house calls!
Absolutely! There are veterinarians all over the country that provide full service veterinary care in the most stress-free environment, the pet’s own home. Many folks are aware that in-home euthanasia is a service that is offered, but do not know that regular veterinary care (such as vaccines, annual wellness exams, and set pet exams) is available at home as well! That is exactly what I provide with SagePet Home Veterinary Care. Read on for more information on how I got started and what services are available.

My start as a house call vet
I wanted to create a house call practice to be able to slow down and spend more time with each of my patients and their families. House calls allow me to focus on fewer pets per day, thus allowing more brain power and energy to be spent on each pet. House calls also greatly reduce stress for our pets. Instead of the scary car ride and all the stressful sights and sounds of the clinic, your pet gets to meet a new friend, eat some treats, and then go on with their day. The longer visit time allows you, the pet parent, the time you need to express your thoughts and concerns. My goal is to leave you with a better understanding of your pet’s health and the power to be an active member of their care team. See my blog about the origins of SagePet here.

What to expect in an appointment with a mobile veterinarian
The flow of a house call appointment is very similar to what you might experience at a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ clinic, with one major difference, the veterinarian, Dr. B, is the only staff member you will interact with. I will take a full history and perform a comprehensive exam just like in the clinic. I will also have the full hour to interact with your pet and learn and understand your concerns. I carry a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, an otoscope to examine the ears, and an ophthalmoscope to evaluate the eyes. I travel with two different scales to get an accurate weight for your pet. One is for small dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small critters. My larger scale can weigh pets up to 225 lbs!

My travel cooler is always stocked with a full range of vaccines and other refrigerated medications like Cytopoint and Solensia. I am able to offer routine tests, such as annual heartworm and tick borne disease tests. Full laboratory panels and advanced testing is also available. I even carry a small centrifuge to process your pet’s blood samples for the best accuracy when they arrive at the lab. In my car I have a pharmacy that covers the medications I use most often, and partner with an online pharmacy for easy refills on chronic medications. The online pharmacy is easy to use, has competitive pricing, and helps my small business by providing me with a (very small) amount of each sale. I do not work with outside pharmacies, but am happy to provide a written prescription for you to use at the pharmacy of your choice.

Limitations in a home setting
Since we are not performing the visit inside a traditional veterinary clinic, there are a few limitations. I do not have the staff or equipment to handle emergencies. If your pet is having active seizures, was in an accident, is having trouble breathing, is bleeding excessively, or any other emergency, I recommend seeking care at the nearest emergency clinic. After your visit to the emergency department or specialist, I can help with follow-up care, long-term management, and help you decipher your discharge instructions and decide on the next best steps for your pet.

The other limitation is for imaging (x-ray, ultrasound and surgery). These are situations we can plan for, and I can help you to work with a local clinic for these services. Alternatively, you can work with a veterinarian you have seen in the past. I am happy to share my medical records and help to facilitate these appointments so that your pet can get seamless care.

I can’t wait to meet all your critters!
I hope that helps to give you a better understanding of the wide scope of care we can provide in the comfort of your home. If you have further questions, please check out our FAQs. You can also always contact us directly here. If you are interested in settling up an appointment, a good first step is to fill out the new client form.

I look forward to working with you, and I cannot wait to meet your beautiful pet!

Take care,

Dr. Braithwaite