UP veterinarians schedule for months in advance
Bayshore Veterinary Hospital and Marquette Veterinary Clinic are two of the many booked for at least a month ahead.
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - You may have noticed a long wait if you have tried to schedule a veterinary appointment for your pet.
According to Dr. Tim Hunt of Bayshore Veterinary Hospital, there are many reasons for this. Dr. Hunt added that COVID precautions have forced Bayshore to reduce the number of staff at the clinic, leading to fewer appointments overall.
“With COVID, when that hit two-and-a-half years ago, that really caused us to scale back our staffing which then reduced the number of clients we could see per day,” Dr. Hunt said.
Dr. Hunt added emergency calls for pets in need also increased over the pandemic. Dr. Hunt said this is mainly due to people hyper-focusing on their pets’ issues at home.
“People have been calling in certain things that might have gotten better on their own so that also upped the ante for the number of patients we have had to see,” Dr. Hunt said.
Dr. Hunt emphasized there is no one specific illness or condition that is causing an increase in animal patients but concluded that it seems to be a common issue for most vets in the country.
“People speculate that more pets were adopted during the pandemic and maybe that is the case, but when I have talked to fellow professionals across the U.S. they have seen the same deal with how busy they are,” Dr. Hunt said. “These vets are all busy, no matter where they are, and it is a different kind of busy than it was pre-COVID.”
The Marquette Veterinary Clinic (MVC) is another vet clinic that has seen an increase in animal patients. The MVC is also booked for about a month in advance. Dr. Edward Brauer III said the clinic has had a tough time keeping up with this influx.
“Unfortunately we have not been able to hire newer veterinarians that have been graduating to compensate for this,” Dr. Brauer III said. “We have definitely been short-staffed because of that. This is a problem that vets across the country are facing as well.”
Dr. Brauer III noted that the influx of tourists bringing their pets between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July has also led to more emergency calls for the MVC.
“Usually there will be cases when they will have their dog outside and something goes wrong, they hurt themselves by getting cuts and lacerations,” Dr. Brauer III said. “All the way into August we get quite a few cases from people outside the area that are calling on an emergency basis.”
In addition to an increase in emergency calls, Dr. Brauer III said the start of tick season has been difficult so far. With an uptick in Lyme disease in pets that are screened for heartworms and tick-borne illnesses.
“We have seen quite a large caseload of Lyme disease, especially positive Lyme cases on our heartworm tests,” Dr. Brauer III said.
Dr. Brauer III said he recommends scheduling a general wellness exam before even buying a pet to ensure you get in. Doing this can help you avoid a wait of at least one month.
“As soon as you look at getting a new pet in this case or if you haven’t already it’s best to contact a vet clinic here that would be able to accommodate you,” Dr. Brauer III said.
Even for those with pets, Dr. Hunt and Dr. Brauer III said it is best to call as soon as possible to get in. Both added that those who establish themselves with a vet clinic have an easier time getting an appointment.
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