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Canadian vets promote telemedicine to support herd health

13 May 2022
Beef Cattle Research Council

Digital communications can save vets long trips to rural farms

According to the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) in Canada, veterinary telemedicine provides a unique opportunity to improve and streamline the way producers access their veterinarians and how veterinarians provide care to rural producers.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I guess a video is worth a thousand miles,” says Elizabeth Homerosky, DVM, who practices near Airdrie, Alberta. “It’s hard for us to get to a lot of these operations quite regularly throughout the winter, so we feel like we have eyes on the cows and eyes on the place.”

During last year’s Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) Bov-Innovation session, Homerosky and Tommy Ware, DVM, both with Veterinary Agri-Health Services, discussed the value of videos captured by producers as another tool to help monitor and treat herd health issues in remote locations.

The use of photos and videos provides an opportunity for veterinarians to participate in herd monitoring, such as keeping tabs on the body condition score (BCS) of animals in the herd, for example. Hands-on body condition scoring is much more accurate and informative than just visual assessment. However, there is value in using photos or video to get a veterinarian’s eyes on your animals when there is a concern or for general monitoring purposes since body condition can have large implications on an operation’s bottom line.

Telemedicine also provides opportunities to support the Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship, especially for more isolated clients, with improved accessibility to veterinary care that might not otherwise be possible, said BCRC.

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