open access

Article Links


There is an erratum to this paper published in Veterinary Evidence Vol 7, Issue 2 (2022): 10.18849/VE.V7I2.627

Objective: To assess outcomes of a limited period (7 months) of remote video consultation with prescribing of prescription-only (POM) or prescription-only-veterinary (POM-V) medications by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) registered veterinary surgeons to UK clients via a veterinary telemedicine smartphone application.

Background: Objective evidence is needed to inform the veterinary profession on the impact that remote prescribing, without physical examination in person, has on animal health and welfare. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the RCVS allowed remote prescribing temporarily.

Methods: Clinical records from all veterinary video consultations from 1 April–31 October 2020 were reviewed. Details were assessed pertaining to: signalment, body system / disease categories managed, referrals into practice, medication classes prescribed and outcomes following POM-V / POM medications. Records of adverse events and antimicrobial prescribing were reviewed.

Results: 16.6% (3,541/21,383) of video consults had a POM-V / POM prescribed; with a (mild) adverse event rate of 0.8% (30/3541). Antibacterials were prescribed in 5.88% of all consultations (1,258/21,383), 99.3% (1249/1258) being first line. Follow-up on prescribing was available in 67.7% (2,399/3541) of cases. 89% (2135/2399) of all known treatment outcomes were complete or had an expected response to treatment. Dermatological disease was the most common body system / disease category seen and prescribed for.

Conclusion: Low prescribing rates (including antibacterials) were recorded, treatments were efficacious and no harm was done by prescribing remotely via a veterinary video consult app.

Application: Veterinary surgeons and governing bodies are invited to use the information provided in this clinical audit to inform decisions on the suitability of remote consultations and prescribing in veterinary medicine.


Open Access Peer Reviewed