Before I dig into this review, let me first say: If your dog is ill or injured, or if you have concerns about his or her health, you absolutely should visit your veterinarian. There is no substitute for working with someone in person.
That being said, I found Pearl.com to be an incredible service that I recommend.
Here’s the gist: You purchase an account (they gave me a free trial) and have access to professionals who can answer your questions quickly via email. Among the professionals they have on board are veterinarians with a range of specialties. I tested the service by asking a handful of questions that I had been thinking about but wasn’t necessarily willing to pay for an office visit to ask (and the boys’ annuals are in November and December). I was able to get the questions addressed, ask follow-up questions, and work with the vet until I had an action plan.
I asked three questions: ideas for Emmett’s dry skin, treatments for Coop’s upset stomach (after his indiscretion), and whether I should get Newt into the vet because she pants when she plays, which I heard was rare for cats.
Let’s start with Newt. I posed the question through the service February 11 at 9:11 AM. I received a response at 9:23. FAST! Here’s what she said:
Hello, Thank you for your question about Newt. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help. If cats play really hard, they may pant to catch their breath for awhile. If her gums are pink and the panting sessions are brief, she is probably fine. However, if you are worried or if the panting seems excessive, the first thing I would do is look at her gums when she does this. They should be bright pink in color. If her gums look pale at all, I would have her checked out. It might be a good idea to have her lungs and heart listened to for a heart murmur or some other problem. This would be rare in such a young cat, but is possible. Please let me know what else I can answer or help with. Rebecca
From there I was able to pose a follow-up question, which was answered almost immediately, too.
The speed made me realize the real value of this service. Where we are, the closest after-hours (as in… after 5 pm) vet is about 75 minutes away. That’s FAR in an emergency. If I had known about this service when Cooper ate all those supplements (sigh.) it would’ve saved me some panic and frantic speeding around town, that’s for sure. (Though, again, if there’s an acute emergency and you have access to care, see a vet!!!)
For the Cooper question, a couple days after he ate the bottle of supplements, he had a handful of accidents – both 1 and 2 – in the house. So, I asked about possible causes, residual effects of eating the supplements, etc. She responded right away with a list of “action” questions:
I responded, and we went back and forth until I felt like all my questions had been answered. Same thing with the Emmett scenario.
Bottom line: I believe this is a valuable service. Those lingering questions that aren’t urgent enough to schedule an appointment with your vet are the perfect fit for this service. If you don’t have access to after-hours care, as we don’t, it’s also a good stand-in, though if you are able to get to a vet in the case of an emergency, please do so!
I will continue to use Pearl.com and let you guys know how it’s going! I’d definitely recommend a subscription if you’ve been looking for something like this.
But, thanks to the generosity of Pearl.com, one of you has a chance to win a New Pet Owner Package! Here are the details from the brand:
OhMyDog! readers know that the responsibility of caring for a pet can be overwhelming, but with a New Pet Owner Package fromPearl.com you can consult with live veterinarian and/or pet expert for answers to any questions you have, anytime. For just $59 (a fraction of the cost of visiting a vet), pet owners can purchase a package of three online conversations with any one of the hundreds of Pearl.com animal health and behavior specialists to solve any specific dilemma they might have (a la carte questions are also available). So next time you have a question about your furry friend, head over to Pearl.com for all the answers you’ll ever need.
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget will load below – sometimes it takes a few seconds – but if you’re reading this in an email or through a reader, you may have to click the link.
Thank you, Pearl.com, for offering us the chance to review and giveaway a package!