Pandemic Brings New Threat to Pets - Inaccessible Veterinary Care
Anyone who has sought veterinary care in the past 18 months knows how difficult it can be to get an appointment. Initially, it was assumed availability would improve as the “pandemic puppies and kittens” became older and needed less frequent visits. But the trend of limited availability has not improved and in some cases has become worse.
The veterinary profession continues to be stretched to the limit. Demand for care is high. Many hospitals are short staffed because the current economic conditions make it challenging to find, hire and train sufficient staff. The continuous months of long hours and very busy days are causing burnout and drop-out, as also seen in human medicine.
In the Portland metro area, emergency veterinary care is especially affected. Recently, for two separate cases, we called 5 different emergency care facilities in the greater Portland area, none of which could accept critical patients that desperately needed overnight care. Clients have reported spending the night in the ER parking lot because the wait time is 6 to 12 hours until their pet can be seen.
What does this mean for your pet? How best to care for your pet with these circumstances?
Do your best to keep your pet healthy! Be extra vigilant now and this holiday season! Avoid common toxins such as chocolate, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies. Avoid common causes of trauma by keeping your dogs on leash and your cats indoors. Avoid objects which can cause digestive upset or obstruction including bones, hair ties, garbage, tinsel, ribbon, and human food.
Plan ahead! If you plan to board your pet(s) over the holidays, call NOW to schedule needed vaccination / testing appointments. We are currently booking ~2 weeks out. There likely will not be capacity for last minute appointments to update for boarding requirements.
Don’t postpone care! Call for an appointment as soon as your pet is showing signs of a problem (for example: decreased appetite, scratching, shaking their head, lameness). Hopefully your pet can be seen within a few days.
Thus, you’re not waiting until your pet’s condition is even worse, needing urgent or emergency care. Our receptionists can help you determine the severity of your pet’s condition if you’re unsure. If your pet needs preventative care, expect these appointments to be booking out at least several weeks. If you’re not able to make an appointment, inform the clinic as soon as possible. Guaranteed someone else is desperately waiting for that appointment!
At Sherwood Family Pet Clinic, we have increased our capacity to see urgent appointments. We have worked to increase the number of appointments we can schedule for each day. Staff continue to focus on providing the best service for you and the best care for your pet. We are here to help you provide the best care for your four-legged companions.
Please share these tips with other pet lovers!