This is a personal appraisal of, and a commentary about, free vet advice. It was written about 13 years ago, so the website references may no longer be live. You may find the comments interesting and there are lots.
Update: Truly free veterinarian advice can’t exist because vets need to make a living. They can’t provide free advice when retired for fear of being sued for negligence. If a practicing vet offers free advice there’ll be a catch somewhere. Perhaps you have to join a plan of some sort before you get ‘free’ advice and the plan will cost you!
This is the kind of advice we’d love to get free. Some lawyers give free half hour consultations to attract business so the concept of free advice (that would normally be expensive) is not that unusual. But vets are different in that we only really go to a vet when our cats (pets) are sick. Vets don’t really need to give free advice and in any event, there will usually be expenses to pay (drugs) so the advice will not be free strictly speaking. I don’t know of any local (London, UK) vets giving free advice except see below. What about the internet?
I am sure some vets have given thought to giving free vet advice over the internet. Can it work? I think not to be honest. The only kind of advice that can be given over the internet will be general advice, passing on knowledge but not necessarily specific to a cat’s illness because a proper diagnosis cannot take place without the presence of the cat or pet.
But do you need to be a vet to give general advice? Probably not. Yes, vets have better knowledge than most people mainly because of first-hand, hands-on experience plus excellent training. But in giving general advice they are not really using their skills to the maximum. A well-researched article by a scientist could provide advice that is as good.
So what is on the internet as free vet advice for specific ailments and illness? If you Google (from the UK) “free vet advice” the results are not that wonderful. pets2home.co.uk forum doesn’t work (at Jan 2008). Nor does www.vetsdirect.com. They have a simple form to complete but I’d bet you wouldn’t get an answer? Wrong? Tell me please. Vetsdirect has low traffic indicating that the method doesn’t work. Sorry to be negative.
www.vetask.com is better but the most recent entry appears to be Nov. 2007 and if that is true, I can’t blame the vet Samantha Coe because she is probably too busy making a living on the ground and not on internet. It is all but impossible to make money on the internet as a vet giving free vet advice so why do it?
Samantha makes a good point. If a wild animal has been injured free vet treatment may be forthcoming. And in London (UK) if you are on benefits (social security) you can get free advice and treatment at the Putney RSPCA Animal Hospital (closed as at 2022). This is partly because the RSPCA in the UK is a relatively rich charity. This though is a valuable and genuinely free service (unless the rules have changed at 2009).
www.petnews.com provides answers to what appear to be general questions. Good stuff but this is not really specific advice and I think people who search for free vet advice are looking for advice about their pet’s condition. There are a number of books that provide a good reference source for vet advice. So for a modest financial outlay we can get almost free vet advice of the kind available on the net only it is probably more complete. Here are some examples available from Amazon (these are USA) but the same applies to the UK.
Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life
I can recommend this book as I have it and use it. It is about cat diet and how it affects health.
Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated
I have this book too and can recommend it.
i have a large cat, when he is say sitting on your lap or laying on the floor he gets like a spasm he cant work it out if you are holding him he will dig in and claw very badly
My puppy is throwing up won’t eat or drink just started today I have another puppy her age 9 weeks her nose is dry to what could be wrong with her ?
My cat was diagnotised with diabetes approx 4 months ago, since then I switched him to an all wet food diet, and along with insulin we have gotten it under control to the point when I check his blood there are times he doesnt need a shot of insulin. However in the last week his poop has been very runny, almost liquidy. I have NOT noticed any blood in it, and is darker like it should be, just very runny. We where at the vet aprox a month ago and he had a bladder infection and the gave us meds(he said it was like a form of kitty cipro) he finished these in 1-1/2 weeks and was all good. So I dont know if we got rid of too much bacteria with the meds or if this is something different all together. And another $200 at the vet is not in the books.
My cat has not moved off the chair on the front porch all day. This morning I noticed a place on his head that looked like something may have bit him.. but no blood. He is moving and walking around, but not eating. Tonight I looked at his head again and it looks like some white stuff coming out of the cut. I’m not sure what to do. There is tornado watches out right now and I can’t leave. Please someone tell me what to do. Do I clean the wound, put band aid on it what?
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.