An increase in the number of pets adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in activities at veterinary hospitals, resulting in longer wait times, staff shortages and frustrated pet owners, officials at a veterinary hospital company SoCal said Monday.
“The veterinary industry is under tremendous pressure to meet demand, with emergency room visits to all of our hospitals skyrocketing,” Leah Basinais, director of operations for ACCESS Special Animal Hospitals, said in a statement. .
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“Unfortunately, wait times of six to eight hours are not unusual, and the occasions when our emergency rooms reach capacity and are unable to accept new patients are more common. And it’s not just our hospitals – we often get desperate phone calls. pet owners tell us we’re the fifth hospital they call and no one can take them. “
Access officials said primary care vets are also affected, often unable to care for new pets. This overload can cause pet owners to take their pets to emergency veterinary hospitals like ACCESS for non-emergencies.
According to ACCESS, the American Pet Products Association estimates that more than 11 million pets were adopted between March and November 2020, contributing to the influx of veterinary emergency room visits.
ACCESS recommended pet owners:
- follow routine animal care and schedule regular checkups with your senior veterinarian at least four weeks in advance;
- watch out for pets and try to avoid preventable emergencies;
- purchase pet insurance to offset veterinary costs;
- be patient when visiting busy pet hospitals and understand how the triage system works.