The Internet, like Alice’s restaurant in the old Arlo Guthrie song, is a place where you can get anything you want. My closet is full of clothes from Land’s End and L.L. Bean, hard-to-find books and CDs come from Amazon, I’m writing this blog on a computer from Dell using notes I made with a pen ordered from Fahrney’s on a pad of paper that came from Levenger’s. The amount of stuff available online is literally limitless. (And if anyone from the FTC is reading, there have been no incentives to mention these particular retailers or any other website.)
The web also has a wealth of information and research sources promising to tell you everything about anything. And that’s one of the problems with the Internet. How do you know which advice to trust? Some of it is good; some of it is downright crackpot. It’s an important question when the health of your horse or companion animal is at stake.
A couple of months ago veterinarians Jed and Laci Schaible started VetLive.com with the goal of providing around-the-clock access to a veterinarian. Owners can visit the site and discuss their animals’ medical problems with a licensed veterinarian for a fee ranging from $12.95 (for a simple question) to $39.95 (for a second opinion based on a review of medical records). The American Veterinary Medical Association, in conjunction with WebMD.com, offers a similar serviceÑPet Health Community, geared toward companion animalsÑfor free, and there are a number of other websites offering similar services for animal owners.
Internet veterinary sites can be useful sources of general information if animal owner