More Pet Owners Opting for Vet House Calls

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When Lola started losing fur around her ear, her owners realized she needed to see the vet.

But Jeffrey Newell knows getting any of his 6 cats to the doctor's office is a struggle.

"You got to hunt down the cat, like pull it out from under the bed. You get little battle wounds trying to get them in there."

That's where veterinarian Karen Heard and her assistant, April Kelly, come in. They make house calls making it easier for owners and their pets.

"They're more willing to accept you and put up with a little bit of discomfort if their surroundings are familiar," Heard said.

More and more owners are opting for house calls. Dr. Heard's practice has more than doubled in the last year.

The most common house-calls are for regular check-ups and routine vaccines, but vets say they can provide just about any service with a few exceptions.

"Surgery or anything that requires a general anesthetic can't really be done in the house call setting."

As for Lola, the doctor determined an infection is likely causing her hair loss. She gave her a shot of medication and prescribed an ointment.

The house call cost Lola's owners an extra $100 over a regular office visit, but Newell says the convenience is worth it.

"It seems like a no brainer!"
And if the infection doesn't clear up soon, Dr. Heard says she'll be right back on Lola's door step.

Some veterinarians believe house calls are an especially good option for very young and very old pets, since they may not have the best immunity to fight off diseases that could be circulating at the doctor's office.

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