Veterinarians see an increase in pet visits during the pandemic
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -
Veterinarians are busier than ever during the pandemic as they see a rise in pet owners bringing their animals in for visits. Dr. Chilla at the Bradford Park Veterinary Hospital says she thinks it’s because pet owners spend more time at home with their pets now than ever before.
“They’re seeing their pets in longer periods of time, so not just morning and evening,” Chilla says. “They’re seeing their pets during the day and they’re picking up things that they didn’t really notice before so, you know, sometimes they’re just sitting at home staring at their cat and they’re like, is that normal? so they want their pet checked out.”
The hospital is fully booked at least a day or two in advance and they even hired another vet to help with appointments. It’s also now open an hour earlier in the morning and an hour later in the evening to accommodate more pet owners.
“We’re doing more squeeze-in appointments, is kinda what we call them, so pets that need to be seen we just don’t have appointment times so they’re either dropped off or squeeze in between other appointments,” she says.
With the increased workload, she says she also feels an increased level of stress.
“We’ve been working more, we’ve been busier, it’s less down time,” Chilla says. “I take a lot of this home so, you know, I’ve seen more euthanasia’s so it’s harder on my soul. So there are a lot of vets who are a little bit more stressed out emotionally, physically.”
She says there’s been an increase in euthanasia’s because owners see more of what a pet is experiencing throughout the day.
Masks are required inside and pet owners are also being asked to socially distance throughout the office. Chilla says she’s still anxious about the possibility of contracting the virus.
"What if I get exposed to it? What if I give it to somebody?"
The veterinary hospital is also offering the ability to do telemedicine for owners who don’t feel comfortable bringing pets into the office.
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