Veterinarians say staff shortages and limited space are not equal to their growing workloads.
BUFFALO, NY – If you’re having trouble getting your pet to the vet, especially in an emergency, you’re not alone.
Veterinary clinics and hospitals across the country are reporting long waits due to overbooking, understaffing and lack of space.
One of the reasons for this, in large part, is the pandemic.
Dr Heather Sacks is a veterinarian in Buffalo and chief of staff at Nickle City Animal Hospital and says she and her team are exhausted trying to cope with their growing workload.
“Too many people are trying to get in with their pets,” says Dr. Sacks. “There are all these COVID pets and people are more at home with their pets, noticing illnesses and the little things they are trying to settle for. “
While more attentive pet owners are a good thing, says Dr Sacks, the problem now is that too many owners are calling clinics and emergency services for minor routine issues in order to avoid long downtime. ‘waiting.
“I was just talking to the Veterinary Emergency Group. Last year they had 300 calls per night on average. Right now they’re at the same time last year, now they’re 900 calls per night.” said Dr Sacks. said.
While people should take their pets to day clinics, they are now clogging up emergency clinics and as a result major cases are saved and sometimes not treated.
“People who don’t have primary care providers call emergency clinics for common things they would normally never see,” says Dr. Sacks.
When it comes to calling emergency services, Dr Sacks says to reach out for: dog or cat fights, urinary blockages, breathing problems, open wounds, fractures and / or signs of distress .
As with the majority of other concerns, including mild infections and allergy issues, Dr. Sacks encourages owners to make a telemedicine appointment or, if possible, wait a few weeks for a scheduled visit.