Tuesdays with Tony
Whoa! What a strange few weeks it’s been around here. At first I kept hearing everyone talk about Corona this and Corona that, and I thought to myself, that’s odd, my minions aren’t big drinkers, some don’t even drink at all, so why are they making such a big deal about Corona? Then they started breaking out the hand sanitizer, bleach, lysol wipes and locking the front doors. That’s when I realized, they were talking about the Corona Virus or COVID 19.
Safety During Your Appointment
If you’ve been by the clinic lately, you’ve probably come across some changes we’ve made here for your safety and for the safety of our team. We are keeping the doors to the clinic locked and are asking that for any in-house appointments you unload your horse and wait at your truck and trailer, keeping a safe 6-foot distance from anyone else. One of the technicians will come out and meet you. My docs and techs will take it from there. You are more than welcome to stay in the comfort of your truck, in fact, we encourage that. When my docs come to the farm for appointments, we are asking that you have your horses caught and in a safe location with halters available. As you all know my docs always travel with a technician so you can stay inside on the couch as to not miss any of your current Netflix Binge. Again, this is something we are encouraging, and rest assured, if my docs need to contact you while looking at your horse, they will pick up the phone and call you.
What is Equine TeleMedicine?
Another change that we have recently launched at the clinic is something I am sure you will all be very excited about, and that is, Equine TeleMedicine. You have seen it on TV and heard about it on Facebook, where you can use Telemedicine with your doctors to avoid long wait times and gross waiting rooms. Well, now we are also offering Telemedicine for your horses! It’s really very simple to use. We use an App called Medici. All you have to do is download it on to one of those SmartPhones that you are probably using right now to read this blog. So, stop here, take a break from this interesting blog and go to your App Store and download Medici. I’ll wait… Got it downloaded? Ok great! So now let me explain how this all works.
First, my docs have to have seen your horse within the last year for a physical examination, and yes, this includes a wellness vaccine exam. If your horse has been seen within the year, you can start Telemedicine now. If you are a new client or we have only seen your horse for a Coggins or health certificate or it has been over a year since we have seen your horse, call the clinic and tell them you want to set up an exam for Telemedicine and we will get you on the schedule with one of my docs. They will come out, do a brief physical exam on your horse, note any abnormalities and then you will be good to go.
How to Use Equine TeleMedicine
So, now you’ve downloaded the Medici app, your horse has a recent exam with one of my docs, and you think you’re ready for Telemedicine but you’re not sure how, when, or why you would use it. Telemedicine can be used in a variety of different situations. For example, you have a horse that has a cut that you think might need stitches, but you aren’t sure. Perfect! Open up the Medici App, contact my docs and they will get back with you ASAP. They may ask for a few pictures or they may decide to FaceTime with you to see the wound. From here my docs will decide if your horse needs to be seen or if you can manage it at home by following specific guidelines given to you by my doc. Telemedicine is also great for lameness, eye injuries, swelling, emergencies, or any other concerns that require a veterinarian’s expert advice.
Yet another benefit to telemedicine is reducing the need for you to haul your horse to us or us to come to your farm. It saves time, it saves money, and it saves loading and unloading your horse. You may live outside of our practice range and can’t get a vet to come to you. If you have planned ahead and have had an exam done with one of the vets here at Springhill Equine, you can give them a call via Medici and they can help you determine if hauling into the clinic will be necessary.
Telemedicine is also useful to prevent the spread of other cooties such as Strangles, Influenza, Salmonella, and other easily spread diseases. These diseases are easily transmitted on people, instruments, and vehicles. By using telemedicine to help you manage these kinds of illnesses, you will be helping prevent the spread of disease. Similarly, recheck appointments can also be done using telemedicine, once again, allowing you to stay home with your horse and avoiding the hassle of hauling into the clinic or having my docs out to you.
Finally, with COVID 19 floating around out there, what better way than to social distance yourself than with telemedicine? As far as I’ve heard, the virus cannot be transmitted through the phones, so I think your safe on this one. You get to stay home, in your barn, in your PJs while talking to my docs about what’s going on with your horse, all while playing your part to flatten the curve and keep yourself and everyone else safe.
Not convinced that Telemedicine is for you? Hear this old cat out, give it a try, you’ll be surprised how easy it is and how quickly your concerns will be addressed. You and your horse will be back blazing the trails again before you know it, or as soon as COVID 19 allows.
Until next week,
P.S. We have an Equine TeleMedicine page on our website now, which includes links to Medici and even a video on how to make a great Telemedicine video for the docs. Check it out here. And if you’re stuck in the house and bored, scroll down a bit and click on the banner with the books on it. It’ll take you to some reading material that will pass the time and make you smile 🙂
Tuesdays with Tony is the official blog of Tony the Clinic Cat at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!