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How to take some of the stress out of a visit to the vet’s

Dr. Sabrina Meldrum, one of Vetted’s first veterinarians, and a technician work with a client’s dog. (Photo courtesy of Vetted)
Dr. Benjamin Rosnick has a little one-on-one time with Piper. (Courtesy of Vetted)
SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsAli Shahid, left, and Karan Aneja started Vetted about two years ago. The company has two vets who service Orange County as well as vets in Los Angeles County. (Courtesy of Vetted)
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Fly hated the vet’s office.
He didn’t hate the vet, or anything that was done to him there. He patiently endured flexibility checks, blood draws, temperature taking and all the other indignities dogs go through during an exam. Nonetheless, as soon as we’d enter, he’d start pulling me back toward the door.
“OK Mom. Let’s get out of here.”
It took me awhile to understand the reason for Fly’s desire to flee.
He was an empath. The dog absorbed whatever vibes were swirling around him, wherever he was. And at the vet’s office a lot of not so great vibes – pain, fear, stress – were all around. So, while he was just fine enduring all the procedures, he was definitely not OK with the rest of it.
We could have used Vetted.
The in-home veterinary service wasn’t around then. Entrepreneurs Karan Aneja and Ali Shahid started Vetted about two years ago with hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Recently, they launched the service in Orange County, where two veterinarians are available to treat pets in their homes.
“I ran a home-health care company in Asia,” Aneja said. His grandparents were sick and, unhappy with the available options, he started a firm that provided medical care to people in their homes, helping to avoid the stress of being placed in a hospital or care facility. From that idea grew Vetted.
While the company can’t provide all the services of a veterinary clinic – the average home lacks a surgical suite, after all – it does offer exams, vaccinations, diagnostic tests like blood work, procedures such as administering fluids and cremations.
Pricing is standardized so clients can know before they book an appointment how much they will pay, Aneja said. Appointments are available 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
They call it “neighborhood-based medicine.” The visiting vets can see not just how a pet is in the clinical surroundings of a hospital, but also how they live. They can ask to look at food, other medications, grooming products and other accoutrements of the pet’s life to get a holistic picture of care that helps them advise owners and treat pets.
But the big thing, Aneja, Shahid and everyone associated with Vetted agrees, is this: less stress.
Going to a veterinary clinic or hospital is stressful. Everyone, from vets to owners to, certainly, pets themselves, agree on that. That stress can exacerbate existing conditions, create elevated heart rates and temperatures, and cause normally docile pets to lash out – or at least to try to head out before they’re even seen by the doctor.
“Knowing how stress plays in disease, the last thing you want to do is add stress to an already lowered immune system,” said Dr. Heather Matthew, one of Vetted’s Orange County doctors.
Staying home instead of being seen in a vet’s office can lower that stress, which in turn can help the doctor get a clearer picture of what’s going on. And that’s not the only advantage.
Matthew said she was surprised by some of the things she really likes about working for Vetted. “I’m really loving, and wasn’t counting on, the one-on-one time you get with the client. In general practice, you see a client every 30 minutes. The lobby is full of people. All kinds of stuff is going on. You’re trying to give clients time.”
I can tell you from personal experience that that situation – inevitable in a lot of clinics, and no one’s fault – brings its own stress. But “with this you have a full hour with no distractions,” Matthew says. “Everybody is calm.”
A big plus for Shahid is flexibility. “We want vets to have work-life balance,” he said. “There’s no financial incentive to upsell” as there is in many veterinary clinics, where a routine visit for vaccinations can turn into spending more money for x-rays, other tests and medication. “They get to learn about that pet in its environment.”
Added Aneja: “They get to take their time. It’s completely personal.”
In-home vet care can be all that, and more. It’s less stressful not just for pets, but also for owners. Not having to load your pet into the car (ask a few cat owners whose cats only get in a vehicle when they’re going to the vet about that), force him or her out of the car and into the clinic, only to have the whining, barking, pacing, panting and cringing start, can play havoc with even the calmest owner’s nerves. Having to simply answer the door is a whole lot easier.
And while I’m sure Fly would have had something to say about a stranger, even in vet’s clothing, coming into his house, I think he would have agreed that the lowered stress level was worth it.
Source: OC Register

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