What is involved with a remote consultation?
We have all gone through changes thanks to COVID. I went from traveling 17,000 miles in an average year to cutting back in my travels and switching to helping pet owners remotely as part of my daily work. In two years I helped over 4,500 pet owners with questions ranging from how to help a dog with skin issues to deciding if an animal needed to be seen at an ER due to an urgent issue. I have been able to guide owners through an online chat format to help them make choices for their pets.
For a variety of reasons, I am going to switch to offering this service through my business, Abby’s Road Veterinary Care. My vision for this service is to offer the following guidance:
-Review of chronic conditions (and also preferably records) in order to help pet owners make future choices for their pet: Some conditions to consider (but are not limited to): skin disorders, cancer, internal organ issues, behavior concerns, etc. If an owner wants to be heard, validated in their concerns, and would like the opinion of a neutral party I can help. I am available to make recommendations for additional team members to add such as integrative/ holistic veterinarians or specialists in an owner’s area. An owner might want to review current recommendations from their general practice vet & that is an option as well. My goal would be to add to a pet’s team & not take away from an animal’s current team. My approach is to work together- not to divide/ remove care members.
-End of life/ Quality of life discussions: I have been a veterinarian for 20 years, and I have been a part of the veterinary community for 28 years. One of the most important things that I can do is help owners talk through a pet’s current situation to help determine if it is an animal’s turn to peacefully pass to their next adventure. I find that this is such a challenging decision for most of us & one to not take lightly. I see euthanasia as a gift that pet owners can give to their companions who have been loyal from day one. We have the capability to take care of our pets even better than many humans are allowed, and at a certain point there may be a shift from a quality life to one that is simply a day-by-day existence. I am not a therapist, and I will not make the choice for an owner, but I have been through this with many owners as well as my own pets. The very first animal I euthanized as the owner/operator of Abby’s Road Veterinary Care was my dog, Chance. I was so thankful to be able to help him when he needed the gift of peace. I am willing to lend an ear and discuss options based on an owner’s interpretation of how their pet is doing. I can also review records as well.
-Nutrition. My passion is natural/ holisitic/ integrative care. I am an integrative veterinarian & that means I take tools form natural/holistic options as well as traditional means. I think it is important to have an open mind to the resources we are given from both sides of the health coin. In regard to nutrition, I have had advanced training through the Chi Institute (Food Therapy), and I believe in using food as medicine. I can help an owner learn how to formulate their pet’s own diet, make suggestions regarding commercially available options, and I am able to make recommendations for specific services that are run by veterinary nutritionists. Food is key to an animal’s (and our) health.
These are a few basic examples of how I can be helpful. Essentially if you have a concern with your pet & want to talk it out directly with a veterinarian, I can help you. I offer phone and zoom consults. Please email/ call/ or text for additional information, and we will pass along an estimate for this service.
Thank you for your time.
-Dr. Abigail Cowan-Strobbe
Dr. Abby lives with her Son, Ethan, Ray the cat, and Jazz the elderly Chihuahua in Central Iowa.