Trips to the vet are up during the pandemic


Have you tried to make an appointment with your veterinarian recently? If so, you may have noticed it's a bit tough to get on the schedule.

Mid-Michigan NOW reached out to several vets in Genesee County and they all said the same thing when asked, 'How has business been?'

Saying they have been busier than ever.

"You would think it would be the exact opposite. People are staying home. There’s an economic crisis," said Joe Hendricks, owner and senior veterinarian at Briarwood Veterinary Hospital in Grand Blanc.

He says when vet clinics had to close for nearly two months in March and April with the exception of emergency cases, they knew things would be busy as they worked to catch up on routine appointments and non-emergency surgeries.

It's now October though and things are still crazy.

"People did adopt a lot of kittens and puppies during quarantine and that of course precipitated to more happening in the clinic," Hendricks said.

With people being home more, it's also led them to notice more things with their pets including stress.

"You’d think dogs and cats would be happy to have their owners home all day, but actually change in a small animals world can just be just as stressful," said Hendricks.

He says they've seen a lot of issues related to stress recently such as diarrhea and anxiety problems among other things.

Dr. Hendricks says it's not a bad thing though, it's definitely something that can be worked through.

But now, as more people start heading back to work, that will be another change for pets at home.

"I really encourage people to start to do a little bit of separating so that when you do go off to work, it’s not this complete shock where they were with you for all day long and now you are gone for eight hours," said Hendricks. "So taking breaks, using a crate during times we are away, allow your pet to realize they can be independent and safe and okay. Start with small allotments and work your way up."

Dr. Hendricks has one ask for people during this time, and that is to be patient. He says there may be some wait times, but they don't want to rush and want to make sure they are still giving every patient the time and attention they deserve.