We are excited to announce the introduction of Telemedicine (TM) consultation services at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital. We will be using the Zoom teleconferencing platform that is free to download and simple to set up and use (our staff will guide you through the set up process and answer any questions you may have). It’s simple to get started using TM; all you need to do is call LCAH to schedule a TM consultation appointment.

You must have the ability to accept the invitation for the TM conference on a cell phone or other mobile device (iPad, Tablet, etc.) so it can be used to show a live streaming video of your pet for rechecks, lameness, etc. Our customer service representative (CSR) will:

1) email or text you a link to download the free Zoom software;

2) schedule a date and time for the TM consult; and

3) send an invitation (secure link) to initiate the TM consult at the scheduled time (the link will include an automatic reminder alert to remind you of the appointment 30 minutes prior the scheduled start time).

Telemedicine, like all veterinary medicine, requires a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR). In compliance with Georgia law, we must establish a VCPR before we can diagnose or prescribe medication for your pet:

1) At LCAH we require an in-house examination of your pet (patient) within the past year such that we have sufficient information in order to initiate a preliminary diagnosis of the current problem, within the prevailing standard of care (VCPR). Generally, prescription refills, rechecks (medical progress exams/consults) and similar activities fall within this category.

2) We can offer a TM consultation to a new client or a new patient, however, we cannot diagnose or prescribe treatment without an in-house – hands-on examination of the patient (VCPR).

3) Finally, you (the client) must understand the limitations of telemedicine (i.e., virtual or video examination of the patient) and consent to TM consultation. LCAH continues to offer in-house consults (curb-side appointments) if you are not comfortable or do not provide consent for TM services. Under Georgia law informed consent means LCAH has: “…presented treatment options, and made reasonable efforts to inform the client, of the diagnostic and treatment options, risk assessment, and prognosis, which are appropriate and probable for the case in the veterinarian’s judgment” without the benefit of hands-on examination and/or diagnostic testing.

4) If after a TM consult, the veterinarian feels that in-house examination or further diagnostic testing is needed (blood work, radiographs, etc.), you will be offered an in-house appointment within the next 48 hours without any additional office call fees.