Veterinarian shortage in Triad leads to longer wait times

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — You might have to wait weeks to get your pet an appointment at the vet.

A shortage of veterinarians and techs is forcing some animal hospitals in the Piedmont Triad to have long waits for care.

Some clinics are having to turn animals needing care away. The problem is there might not be anywhere for them to go. Emergency hospitals in the area are overflowing with sick pets.

“Patient care has always been our priority…sometimes not only are we not able to help them, we’re not able to find another source of help for their needs,” said Dr. Janey Raczkowski, veterinarian and owner of Adams Farm Animal Hospital .

Raczkowski used to be able to see animals on the same day if they had an urgent need. Now your pet will have to wait for care.

“Right now, unless it’s a true emergency they may need to wait two or three days,” she said.

That wait is even longer for elective surgeries. It could take six to eight weeks.

“It’s very frustrating for me in the sense that the way I see it, we’re here to help the pet. We consider them our patients,” Raczkowski said.

There are fewer vets and more pets. Adams Farm Animal Hospital is down three surgical techs. Raczkowski said after-hours emergency clinics are struggling even more than traditional pet hospitals.

“I’ve heard as long as 12 hours of waiting in the parking lot before they can be seen,” she said.

That’s 12 hours you might have to wait for your pet to get taken care of in an emergency.

“The outcome’s going to be better if they’re seen immediately. And if that has to be delayed, I think sometimes the care can suffer,” said Dr. Harvey Goho, veterinarian and owner of Total Care Veterinary Hospital.

Goho has even heard of clinics shutting down entirely for periods of time.

“We’ve gotten notices from emergency hospitals that they will not be able to see any emergencies perhaps during the weekend or during certain days,” he said.

It’s forcing current veterinarians and techs to work overtime to save your furry friends.

“It has been very challenging. And in addition to that, very disheartening,” Raczkowski said.

Many of these offices are already open six days per week. Goho is considering opening every day to offer more availability for sick pets to be cared for.

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