Sick pet late at night? Animal HealthLink helps Alberta pet owners after hours

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s pandemic pet boom leaving veterinarians in short supply' Alberta’s pandemic pet boom leaving veterinarians in short supply
Giving pets the best care possible is proving increasingly difficult these days. As Sarah Offin reports, there is a significant shortage of veterinarians, animal health technicians and registered veterinary technicians in Canada – Jan 28, 2021

Albertans who find their beloved pet suffering from a health concern outside of their veterinarian’s business hours are still able to get help by calling the recently launched Animal HealthLink line.

Formed in 2020, Animal HealthLink (AHL) is a veterinary telehealth company that provides after-hours teletriage services to veterinary clinics and their clients.

The company says it was formed as a way to help address an ongoing shortage of veterinarians and to support clinics that often see emergency calls after they close for the day.

Read more: ‘Exhausted, overburdened and overwhelmed’: pandemic pet boom leaving veterinarians in short supply

“With the shortage of veterinarians we are seeing in our province and across the country, we know veterinary clinics are working longer hours and their teams are answering calls even after their day is done,” Animal HealthLink co-founder and CEO Leilani Mustillo said in a news release.

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“We recognize the need to support veterinary clinics so their staff can rest and recover while still ensuring their clients receive the care they need around the clock.”

The line is staffed by a team of registered veterinary technologists with an average of 15 years of experience who are equipped to handle calls dealing with both small and large animal emergencies.

READ MORE: ‘Pandemic puppies’ bring joy, companionship to families amid pandemic

“We act as an extension of our veterinary partners by integrating into the clinic’s phone system to ensure a seamless experience for both the clinic and the client,” co-founder and chief veterinary officer Dr. Sean Neate said.

“We can then work with the client to determine if the animal is truly emergent or if they can be safely managed until the next day.”

AHL said it already has 10 clinics signed up for its service and it expects to see that number rise in the coming months.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: How ‘pandemic pets’ are helping us cope with coronavirus stress

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