Veterinary shortage in Ontario affecting practices

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A veterinary shortage across Ontario is having a huge effect on some practices ability to treat certain animals and admit new clients.

Dean of the Ontario Veterinary College Dr. Jeffrey Wichtel says animal owners, both large and small, are feeling the pinch for opportunities to have their animals looked at, admitting that the “Puppy pandemic”, which saw Ontarians jump at the opportunity presented during lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to purchase animals at a staggering rate compared to normal levels, causing demand for veterinarians to increase rapidly from already-strained levels pre-pandemic.

Wichtel tells CKNX that the problem was isolated to certain areas of the province before 2020, including rural areas close to Bruce, Grey, Huron and Perth counties, but “now the problem is everywhere, whether you’re in the (Greater Toronto Area), whether you’re looking for a vet to do mixed animal or food animal practice, or whether you’re looking for companion animal or emergency services, everybody is understaffed at the moment”.

“This is something that has always been there, and it’s only gotten worse” Wichtel noted about the shortage effecting rural areas of Ontario.

Wichtel says the OVC’s ability of graduate more vets is limited, and even if it were able to do so, that would still only fix the problem up to 4-5 years away, but the need for more vets is right now.

Read original story from Midwestern Ontario News –