The pandemic has led to increased demand and longer wait times at vet clinics for several reasons:
1. Many people have adopted new pets, leading to increased demand. Shelters were emptied out at the start of the pandemic and that trend has continued throughout the year.
2. People are at home with their pets and noticing problems that they want to have evaluated.
3. The start of the pandemic led to PPE shortages and closures of many veterinarians. No spays and neuters and no dental work could be done by state decree, leading to a backlog of cases.
4. Curbside operations put in place by veterinarians reduce contract risk to staff but are much less efficient, and playing phone tag is frustrating for both vets and owners.
5. Due to staffing problems, from both COVID-related work absences and veterinarians leaving the profession, several clinics have needed to limit hours and services.
6. When clinics become overwhelmed, the overflow goes to ER clinics. At Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, our 44 kennels have been full of patients most days since May. Many clinics have had to turn away patients that are stable or give average wait times of 4-6 hours or more.
While we understand the stress that comes from dealing with a sick pet, we do have to triage patients, and cases involving respiratory distress case or internal bleeding, for example, must be seen first. We appreciate your continued patience, and we look forward to seeing your pets as soon as possible.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052