This month, the newly launched WebVet unveiled itself online, touting itself as an interactive pet platform where pet owners can do ’symptom searches,’ read articles written about common pet ailments by veterinarians and get pet related news.
Like the human version, WebMD, WebVet does not directly provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, but for those pet owners who tend to sit around Googling symptoms on their laptops, the site provides a nice comprehensive look at issues that affect pets and their owners.
The site addresses the “whole pet” and there are articles that give information on holistic care as well as conventional treatments, tips for living with you pet to ensure Fluffy has a carefree existence.
In order to ensure accuracy, WebVet has formed the WebVet Veterinary Advisory Council (WVAC), who ensures that quality and accuracy of the content. The board of reviewers are veterinarians and veterinary technicians who must review, at a minimum of once annually, all content featuring medical advice and information. After the content is approved, the article will include the WebVet Seal of Approval.
It is important to note that some of the council members are from Pfizer Animal Health, manufacturers of animal pharmaceuticals, such as the controversial weight loss drug Slentrol. Since the content managers are not unbiased, and some stand to see a profit (or loss) based on the information provided on the site, it is important to continue to work with a holistic vet that you trust for your pet’s health.
While a site like WebVet can provide a nice overview of animal health, it is still vital to find unbiased sources of information, not tainted by pharmaceutical corporations who make their fortune via unsuspecting pet owners! The WebVet Veterinary Advisory Council (WVAC) is not an official government approved council, rather an board of members selected by the sites founders to lend authenticity to their site.
Still, the site has some good, informative and useful articles and unlike many other pet sites, WebVet addresses health issues in cats, birds and small companion animals (i.e. hamsters, rabbits, ferrets and more).