07 June 2016

HEALTH - Veterinarian Urges Caution Around Home Pet Health Devices

Some pet health technologies are turning heads.

One example is Petnostics – a $10 disposable cup with a lid equipped with an integrated urine test strip. Combined with the Petnostics app on your SmartPhone, pet owners can then use the app to scan the test strip and be alerted to potential health concerns.

While proactivity with pet health is encouraged by the veterinary community, Dr. Danny Joffe of Associate Vet Clinics in Calgary advises pet owners looking to purchase home-use pet health trackers to use caution.

“The question is always should people be using home checking devices? Or will they have pet owners chasing red herrings and result in even higher veterinary costs than anticipated?”

According to their website, the goal of Petnostics is to allow pet owners to perform the same urine test vets perform at their clinics - “at a fraction of the cost of a vet visit, you'll be able to better engage with your pet's health.”

Joffe said while the most effective method for testing an animal to see if there are viable health concerns continues to be blood and urine analysis, he is wary of any low-cost home testing kit (for urine) because they could trigger unnecessary fears in pet owners by detecting every minor abnormality that a licensed veterinarian may consider to be of no actual concern.

“There’s no magic bullet,” said Joffe, who added that a pet health tool he is in favour of is an activity tracker that a dog could use as a collar – for example, a FitBark or another type of Fitbit-model collar for canines; these collars are typically used to measure heart rates, respiratory rates and may have the ability to indicate levels of pain. Joffe said they should be used in conjunction with veterinary assessments to monitor your pet’s ongoing health.

American reality investor show, Shark Tank, showcased Petnostics recently as presented by founder/owner Stephen Chen. His presentation was a success, resulting in investments from two show hosts – Kevin O’Leary and Lori Grenier – for a combined stake of 20%.

By Lindsay Seewalt
Lindsay is an experienced journalist and mother of three whose heart and home is always open to a four-legged friend. With her Corgi, Angie, as household editor-in-chief, Lindsay gives back to the animal planet through the written word on anything and all ado about pets. She is passionate about topics regarding animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, which she aims to instill in both her readers and children to be compassionate animal lovers who are conscious and considerate that furry friends around the globe deserve a voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment