More than 11 million pets have moved into new homes during the pandemic, according to a national survey.
While this is great news, it has led to veterinary offices across the country being overwhelmed with new patients while facing a staff shortage. In some cases … hospitals even have to refuse animals.
It’s Charlie. He’s here to see Dr. Mark Will.
Charlie undergoes a routine checkup by Dr. Will at Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital. Dr Will has been here for 13 years, 30 years in total as a vet, making sure animals like Charlie stay healthy.
“Maybe a quarter of our day is urgent things, things that need to be seen today, not tomorrow,” Dr Will said.
For most of the pandemic, it was sidewalk services here. In June, Dr Will said patient visits inside the veterinary hospital had resumed. However, getting a routine appointment right now will take three to four weeks.
Across the state and the country, veterinary hospitals all face this backlog.
As president of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, Dr Will says several factors are contributing: more people have pets during the pandemic, as well as individuals investing more in their animals.
“They can’t spend their money on going somewhere, vacations and everything, they start spending their resources on their pets for the care of their pets,” he said.
Additionally, Dr Will says staff shortages, which were already underway before the pandemic, are now creating the perfect storm.
At his hospital, he says they are doing well but still need another doctor, technician and assistants.
“It’s been over a decade since it comes. There has been a shortage of vets, but it really progressed during the pandemic, ”he said.
For now, he recommends people plan and call ahead as early as possible. He also asks them to be kind and patient with the staff as they overcome these challenges.
“I think every practice is trying to get people involved, to try to sort out what is more urgent than other things, and I hope we can do it all and get over that together,” he said. .
Vets say the best advice is to plan ahead and book visits for routine appointments at least a month later. They also say there are now telehealth options for pet owners.