Veterinarians slammed with appointments as more people become pet owners

April 15, 2021 8:50 p.m.

Kaitlin Knapp

Posted on April 15, 2021 8:50 PM

Updated: April 22, 2021 10:02 am

SPOKANE, Washington – Veterinarians have been seeing more and more of you furry friends lately. Doctors have been showered with appointments believing it was all due to the pandemic.

Some veterinary practices may not be able to get you to an appointment for at least a week, and some even two. Operations – such as tooth cleaning and castration – are booked out for months.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, how busy we are has skyrocketed,” said Dr. Holly Hruza, assistant veterinarian at Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital.

Pet owners call for a variety of reasons.

“So we’re seeing an increase in just general appointments, and people are at home seeing their pets more often. We notice little things about their pets, so we also see more sick animals, ”said Hruza.

As the demand for an appointment increases, vets do everything they can to get you.

“If it’s a mundane thing like an ear infection, it needs to be investigated,” said Dr. Suzanne Coulson, Senior Veterinarian at Southcare Animal Center. “We don’t really want to have to send her to the emergency room, but we might not have an appointment for a week.”

Coulson also attributes this demand to Spokane’s growing population. The South Hill office is in a rapidly growing area. They had to hire more staff to keep up.

Hruza said she saw people coming from other veterinary clinics and vice versa.

While many Spokane County’s veterinary clinics are experiencing this high demand, there are a few things you can do to make the process smoother.

“If you have any concerns about your pet, please call anyway,” said Hruza. “There’s a good chance you’ll be offered a viewing or drop-off time.”

Also, check to see if a clinic has a cancellation list. If you need to see another doctor, be prepared.

“Have prior records if you happen to come from another veterinary clinic,” Hruza said. “It won’t delay your appointment if you have these documents available.”

It is best to call as soon as possible and do not hesitate to look after your pet.

“We have to try to juggle and stay fit to achieve the best for everyone, so we all do our best,” said Coulson.

Also, if someone else is bringing your pet on a visit, make sure they know what is wrong with your furry friend. This makes the appointment a little faster.

READ: Spokane Schools 5th and 6th grade families are preparing for the transition to full-time face-to-face teaching

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