FDA allows veterinarians to use telemedicine during coronavirus pandemic

Dogs wearing masks are seen in a stroller.

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it’s temporarily easing restrictions on veterinarians to allow them to more easily use telemedicine to treat pets during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to provide veterinarians with the latitude to expand the use of telemedicine in the care of animals, not only pets but also the animals that produce our food,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

The FDA will suspend its rules requiring vets to physically examine pets, allowing them to prescribe drugs with a video examination.

Telemedicine has played a big part in health services during the outbreak. The Trump administration expanded telemedicine options and allowed those enrolled in Medicare to speak with a doctor by phone or video chat at no extra cost. States like Florida and Massachusetts have also made telehealth coverage more accessible. 

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