A mobile Pet Health Record (PHR) is, conceivably, one of the most useful resources for pet parents. Think of it like a baby book for your pet, storing every piece of health information – from first to most recent vaccination, surgeries, allergies and more – in a cloud for ease of access. PHRs are easy to use, accessible via mobile phone, completely secure and, best of all, Activ4Pets collects all the data on your behalf.
In this blog we walk you through the main benefits of a PHR. We’ve also brought in our Chief Veterinary Medical Officer and resident “petxpert”, Clayton E. Jones DVM, to give his opinion.
Prevent Drama in the ER
It’s safe to say an emergency trip to the veterinarian is every pet owner’s worst nightmare. It’s the fear of the unknown more than anything. Some of the questions that frantically cross your mind, might be: “Is my regular vet available? If not, who is available? Will this be an easy diagnosis?”
According to Dr. Jones, the most common causes for emergency vet visits are: acute vomiting, seizures, injuries and allergic reactions. Since these often occur outside regular hours, it means a trip to an emergency vet who has no prior knowledge of the animal. Dr. Jones comments, “Access to the pet’s health history is vital in an emergency and, unfortunately, a lot of pet owners have no knowledge of previous medical history. Tracking down the information is extremely time consuming for the vet and obviously very upsetting for the pet owner.
“Even inside regular hours, retrieval from another veterinarian is a major problem. Clinics are very busy and unavailable to provide health history in a timely fashion. Access to a PHR via cell phone is an incredibly empowering tool for pet owners. On the veterinarian’s side, it actually prevents the need for unnecessary tests or procedures because I can see instantly that the animal has had this or that treatment.”
Sharing is Caring
You’re on vacation. Your boarder calls to say your pet requires medical attention. What do you do? The instant reaction is most likely: “please take my pet to their regular vet”. But what if they’re unavailable, miles away from the boarder, or not picking up the phone? What if neither party has access to your beloved pet’s medical history? Armed with your PHR, you’re prepared for the worst. It contains a comprehensive list of key health information – medications, allergies, vaccinations and more – so you’re ready to answer any medical questions and your boarder is ready to proceed with action.
“Clients frequently call my clinic to request medical records while traveling,” says Dr. Jones. “They have busy lives and limited time to become familiar with health history. Instant access to their PHR is a major benefit for people who travel with and even without their pets. It’s enormously convenient because it cuts out the need to make those calls.”
For those who travel without their pet, many boarders require up-to-date vaccinations/shots beforehand. A PHR provides all the necessary information and more, giving you complete peace of mind during your vacation. It means no stressful phone calls and no waiting around for faxes or emails to come through. And imagine how happy your vet will be – they won’t have to make another copy of your pet’s records ever again.
Freedom to Move Around
Many pet owners use different veterinarians for different treatments, or find themselves relocating to a new city (or country) in search of a new vet. The downside is, with the constant hopping around, your pet’s health history can get mixed up in a bunch of different establishments. There’s little or no consistency and it becomes difficult to recall which procedure was done and at what time.
The beauty of a PHR is that it’s an independent health history that travels with you. It’s available anywhere, anytime – regardless of which veterinarian you consult with. What’s more, Activ4Pets collects all the existing medical history on your behalf (with a process called Medical Records Assistance) which is in turn uploaded to our cloud. With your PHR, you can avoid any repeat tests or procedures because you have an account of all previous medical history. And, if you like, you can update the PHR each time your pet has a new treatment.
Overall, your vets are better informed because they have an instant account of your pet’s history. According to Dr. Jones, “PHRs can also be used to streamline the prescription process. Activ4Pets allows you to upload and input past prescription documents. And evidence of previous dosage, drug name and quantity are all very important, particularly if you’re with a new vet.”
A common objection among consumers is the assertion that, “I have a puppy – why would I need a Pet Health Record?” Dr. Jones disagrees, suggesting, “Important routine health care procedures are done during the first year. Puppy vaccinations, deworming, rabies shots are all essential, with spaying and neutering coming slightly later. With regards to keeping track of these treatments, pet owners can never be too careful.”
The great thing about an Activ4Pets PHR is that you can cover multiple pets under the same membership. You can get PHRs for up to four pets for $50, or for up to eight pets for $70. So, if you’re hesitant about getting your kitten or puppy a Pet Health Record, remember it covers your whole pet family for one relatively low price.
If, like us, you agree that a companion animal’s unconditional love deserves unconditional care; a Pet Health Record is definitely a step in the right direction. To learn more about PHRs, please click here.
Dr. Clayton E. Jones has more than 25 years’ experience as a practicing veterinarian in Tampa, FL. Dr. Jones attended the University of Florida and was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1988.