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Veterinarians working overtime to keep up with high demand

Maria playing at the dog park in Eau Claire
Maria playing at the dog park in Eau Claire(weau)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:16 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - With people spending more time at home during the last year, it was a good opportunity to add a furry friend to the family. In fact, dogs and cats were adopted in record numbers. That trend has greatly impacted veterinarians in the area.

“Veterinarians across the country have been considered essential workers since the start of the pandemic ... vet care is not something we can do remotely and specifically in Wisconsin we cannot provide it via telehealth” said Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Executive Director Jo-ell Carson.

The trend is far from layoffs, business has been booming for those caring for our furry friends.

“When we got back into things maybe May, June of last year, we are probably seeing triple the amount of patients in that time period that we would normally be seeing,” veterinarian and owner of Osseo Vet Clinic, Meg Mueller said.

Mueller points to the increase in pet purchases and adoptions as well as a change in our routine that is backing up their scheduling.

“Traditionally you’re out of the home for eight hours and your pet is home where now you’re sitting there and literally watching it the entire day you’re going to pick up on things.”

Mueller says with more people bringing in their pets, they have less time to make those connections that most veterinarians love about their careers.

“When you think about a normal 20 minute appointment we would be able to have that one on one time with the client ... where if now we have two or three things scheduled around that same time period that cuts down on the time we are able to spend with our clients.”

As for how you can help? Mueller says to schedule appointments and prescription pickups ahead of time if possible and added that a little bit of kindness can go a long way with each interaction.

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