Austin vets and emergency animal hospitals report overload — citing more pet owners during pandemic

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Veterinarians are overloaded right now. Since the pandemic, vets say they’ve noticed an uptick in people adopting pets.

Shakesphere the dog is trotting along without a care now, but not that long ago, his mom Maggie Daum said he needed some medical attention, and fast.

Her regular vet was closed, and Daum said she couldn’t find anywhere to take her dog. 

“My dog had a couple gastrointestinal problems,” Daum said. “They [the emergency clincs] were both so busy, that they were like, ‘You can bring him in tonight.. but it’s going to be a six to eight hour wait.'”

“It’s terrifying!,” Daum said. “You’re googling…you’re posting questions on Reddit.”

Spicewood Springs Animal Hospital said it’s doing the best it can, taking emergency and regular appointments.

“It’s never been this busy,” Dr. Sandra Goldenberg said, who’s been in the vet industry for 20 years.

Pre-pandemic, Goldenberg said they were only seeing about 1-2 emergencies — maybe twice a week. But that’s not the case anymore.

“Now, we’re seeing five or six emergencies every single day,” Goldenberg said.

Goldenberg said this is happening across Austin, saying there aren’t a lot of 24-hour emergency clinics. 

“I will say, if you think you see something starting, make an appointment with your vet — because it may be a week or two before you’re able to come in, and you can always cancel it when you need to,” Goldenberg said.

While the demand for vet care may not slow down anytime soon — it may be best to be as proactive as possible.

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