LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County residents are now able to use a smartphone app to virtually consult with veterinarians about their pet’s health.

The free mobile app, named “Vet24seven,” was created to provide pet owners with round the clock access to virtually speak with leading veterinarians about medical or behavioral issues, and general questions about animal health.

“In today’s always-connected environment, there is a true need for apps that provide immediacy and fast response,” explained Cal Lai, CEO and co-founder of Vet24seven. “Pet owners want to connect with their doctor and get answers to their animal health concerns quickly and conveniently, which is what the Vet24seven app allows them to do.”

According to Lai, pet owners can get immediate consultations for domestic animals such as cats and dogs, exotic pets including birds and iguanas, and larger animals such as cows or horses.

In order to virtually speak with a veterinarian, users simply need to create a profile for their pet and then pair the animal to a veterinarian of choice.

To begin a session, pet owners must select a level of urgency and then choose between a live video or chat consultation.

During the virtual discussion, users can upload photos and videos, which can be accessed at a later time if needed.

On average, a 10 minute consultation will run between $40 to $60, depending on the price that has been set by each veterinarian.

The cost of each virtual session is intended to be significantly less than that of the average in-office visit.

Not only does the mobile app save time, but it also helps to reduce the stress of pet owners.

“We see a behavior or symptom that is concerning, but due to today’s busy lifestyles, we can’t get into the veterinarian’s office right away,” added Dr. Ed Blach, veterinarian and co-founder of the app. “Vet24seven gives the pet owner a chance to consult with their veterinarian, or an available veterinarian in the Vet24seven network if they don’t have one, to help them decide what to do. It provides a peace of mind for the animal owner when they need it the most.”

According to Blach, the mobile app also offers huge benefits to veterinarians as they can increase patient outreach between office visits.

At this time, the mobile app has been launched in the L.A. and Bay areas. The service is expected to be launched nationally within the next year and a half.

Vet24seven can be downloaded on an iPhone from the Apple store. Android users will be able to download the app later this year.

For more information about Vet24seven, click here.

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