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Virtual vet clinic’ aim to helps


A NEW internet service to help cash-strapped pet owners get the treatment their pets need has been launched by the website www.MyOnlineVet.co.uk.

Presented in a simple and straightforward way, the ‘Virtual Vet Clinic’ has gone online in response to stories of pet owners hit hard by the recession being unable to afford the high cost of veterinary treatments. Free advice on a wide range of pet problems is given, plus the same treatments used by vets across the country are made available.

Iain Muir, the vet who operates the MyOnlineVet website, set up the Virtual Vet Clinic after reading articles about distraught owners unable to afford the care their pets need. Aware that many pets taken to vets by worried owners turn out to be suffering from simple complaints, he felt that the internet could help.

‘Pets being left without treatment by well-meaning but cash-strapped owners has always been an issue,’ says Iain Muir, “but it’s become a much more severe problem in the past few months with the recession biting – I was shocked to see reports from Sainsbury’s Finance that nearly 3 million dog and cat owners claimed they had refused recommended treatments because they couldn’t afford it, and animal rescue centres across the country are being inundated with pets owners can no longer afford to keep. That’s a dreadful situation for the pets and families involved.’

With the internet’s growth in popularity as a first port of call, several vet pharmacy shops have sprung up online over the past few years, but this has brought some problems too, as Iain Muir explains: ‘ Unfortunately there’s a lot of bad advice and bad treatments on the internet, and very little control over what’s going on. I’m amazed by the number of owners I’ve seen who have already been on the internet to try to find out what’s wrong with their pet and who get misled by what they read, much of which comes from unqualified people.

‘MyOnlineVet’s Virtual Vet Clinic has been written in a very ethical manner,’ says Iain Muir, ‘we give advice based on years of first-hand clinical experience and whenever we consider that a pet should be seen directly by a vet we say so, very clearly, so pet owners can feel confident they’re doing the best for their pet and their purse.’

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