ChatGPT As a Virtual Veterinarian

ChatGPT as a virtual veterinarian

The advent of ChatGPT has posed an intriguing question: what if we utilized this AI model as a virtual veterinarian, enlisting its assistance in evaluating pet symptoms? What caliber of outcomes might we anticipate, and would these results meet the approval of a professional veterinarian?

Meet Pet Symptom Checker

Our Symptom Checker serves as an apt comparison tool. Engineered to be your immediate ally in times of concern about your cherished animal companions, this tool allows users to identify their pet’s existing symptoms, respond to a series of relevant questions, and obtain immediate insights on potential next steps.

The reliability of our guidance is deeply rooted in the committed work of a team of certified veterinarians. Over several months, they meticulously constructed the comprehensive database of queries and responses, instilling in us a profound confidence in the pertinence and precision of the counsel dispensed.

Our product, launched in mid-2022, subsequently made its appearance on Product Hunt in October and garnered a positive reception. 

Now, with the abundant array of prompts within our reach, we can leverage ChatGPT’s capabilities to create a simulated virtual veterinarian, providing invaluable suggestions after assessing your pet’s symptoms.

ChatGPT Prompt

For this experiment we are going to use the ChatGPT4 model and the following prompt:

I want you to act as a virtual veterinarian.  I will provide symptoms my pet is experiencing and you will provide your concise recommendation. Here is information about my pet and the symptoms it’s experiencing:



Let’s run several scenarios in ChatGPT and Pet Symptom Checker and compare the answers.

Dog Poisoning 

ChatGPT prompt:

I want you to act as a virtual veterinarian.  I will provide symptoms my pet is experiencing and you will provide your concise recommendation. Here is information about my pet and the symptoms it’s experiencing:

I think my dog ate slug or snail bait. Should I be worried?

ChatGPT Answer:

I’m not a veterinarian, but I can offer some general guidance regarding potential ingestion of slug or snail bait. If you suspect that your dog has consumed slug or snail bait, it’s important to take the situation seriously. Here’s what you can do:

1. Contact a veterinarian immediately: Slug and snail baits often contain chemicals, such as metaldehyde or iron phosphate, which can be toxic to dogs. Call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic right away for professional advice.

2. Provide information: Inform the veterinarian about your suspicion that your dog ingested slug or snail bait. Provide details about the type of bait, the amount ingested (if known), and when it occurred. This information will help the vet assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action.

3. Follow professional advice: The veterinarian will guide you on the next steps, which may include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, or recommending specific treatments based on the type and amount of bait consumed. Time is crucial in these situations, so follow their instructions promptly.

4. Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and look out for any unusual symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, excessive salivation, or difficulty breathing. If any concerning symptoms develop, inform the veterinarian immediately.

Remember, slug and snail baits can contain toxic substances, and it’s important to seek professional veterinary care in these cases. Contact a veterinarian as soon as possible for proper guidance and treatment.

Pet Symptom Checker Answer:

If you are at all concerned about something your animal has eaten, contact a vet as soon as possible

The toxic compound in slug or snail bait is metaldehyde, and it is highly toxic to both the intended targets as well as our household pets. Even small amounts can lead to major issues – including death.

Clinical signs often start within 1-3 hours of ingestion and are related to damage to the central nervous system. Clinical signs can start with muscle tremors, weakness, and difficulty walking. Unfortunately, signs can easily progress to seizures, collapse, and death.

If you suspect your dog has eaten a slug or snail bait (and especially if you notice any of the clinical signs) – you need to bring your dog to an emergency vet as soon as possible. Actions such as inducing vomiting should not be undertaken prior to speaking to a vet – if not in person, then via phone or video call.

If you have an urgent problem and can’t get in touch with either your normal vet or Cooper Pet Care, find contact info for your nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary center and/or Poison Control Hotlines here.


As we can see, ChatGPT knows that slug and snail baits can contain toxic substances and a veterinarian has to be contacted immediately. This answer is correct.

Cat Has Diarrhea 

ChatGPT Prompt:

I want you to act as a virtual veterinarian.  I will provide symptoms my pet is experiencing and you will provide your concise recommendation. Here is information about my pet and the symptoms it’s experiencing:

My cat has had diarrhea for less than 24 hours but is acting normal . Should I be worried?

ChatGPT answer:

I’m not a veterinarian, but I can offer some general guidance based on the symptoms you described. If your cat has had diarrhea for less than 24 hours but is otherwise acting normal, there are a few things you can consider:

Monitor your cat: Keep a close eye on your cat’s behavior and overall health. If they are acting normal, eating, drinking, and behaving as usual, it may be a mild and temporary issue.

Assess recent changes: Consider any recent changes in your cat’s diet, environment, or routine. Sometimes, dietary changes, stress, or exposure to new substances can lead to temporary digestive upset. If you identify any potential triggers, try to eliminate them and see if the diarrhea resolves.

Hydration: Make sure your cat stays hydrated. Offer fresh water and monitor their drinking habits. If your cat is not drinking or appears dehydrated, it’s important to consult a veterinarian.

Diet adjustment: Consider feeding your cat a bland diet for a day or two. This could include boiled chicken or plain cooked rice. Avoid offering any rich or fatty foods during this time. If the diarrhea persists or worsens, consult a veterinarian.

Veterinary consultation: If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, worsens, or if you notice other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment or further testing if needed.

Remember, this guidance is general in nature, and it’s important to consult with a veterinarian for a proper assessment and advice specific to your cat’s condition. They will be able to offer the best course of action based on their professional expertise.

Pet Symptom Checker:

Monitor your pet for 12-24 hours at home. If the issue hasn’t been resolved, schedule a consultation with Cooper Pet Care or your normal vet

Diarrhea can be due to many reasons, with a very wide range of possible severity. The gastrointestinal system is the most common origin, but other body systems can lead to diarrhea as well.

Just like in humans, diarrhea is a common mild symptom, and many times can occur for no obvious reason. If your cat seems otherwise well, and diarrhea hasn’t been going on for more than 24 hours, monitoring at home is warranted.

If you have any concerns or simply wish for some more advice, seek veterinary attention.

For more information on vomiting and diarrhea in cats, click here.


Again, we can see that ChatGPT knows that diarrhea for less than 24 hours is a mild symptom and the pet parent should monitor their pet until the issue hopefully resolves itself. This answer is correct.

Opinion of a Veterinarian

I asked our head veterinarian Patrik Holmboe to give ChatGPT a go and to run some of the scenarios above to form an opinion. Here is what he thinks:

ChatGPT is an amazing tool, which has a vast range of uses. And certainly in the role of a Virtual Veterinarian it will give you accurate information more often than not. However, the potential certainly exists for it to give wildly inaccurate results as well. Although we need to mention that human vets can be wrong too sometimes! ChatGPT should be used like other services or advice: as one tool among many, which can help bring you closer to an answer. It should not be used as an infallible, magic source of perfect information. So – for many cases it is fine to go ahead and use it. However, if you are ever concerned about your pet, the gold standard is always to bring them physically to a vet for an exam. There is no question that the information gained from a physical exam often yields critical puzzle pieces which eventually lead to a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, ChatGPT has demonstrated its ability to provide reliable and accurate answers when it comes to simple pet symptoms. Its performance in addressing these concerns has been commendable, highlighting its potential as a valuable resource for pet owners. The consistent and accurate recommendations offered by ChatGPT suggest that it may render traditional tools like pet symptom checkers obsolete in the near future. With advancements in artificial intelligence, pet owners can benefit from the convenience and accessibility of virtual assistance when seeking preliminary guidance for their pets’ health issues.

However, it’s important to note that while ChatGPT can offer helpful insights, it should not replace professional veterinary advice. Consulting a veterinarian remains crucial for accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans for our beloved pets. As technology continues to evolve, the collaboration between AI and veterinary professionals can further enhance the quality of care provided to our animal companions.

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  • Information on the most common toxic foods and household items
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