Is your Vet available?

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This handsome guy needed to be altered and microchipped and I am beyond glad that I was able to get him in and done.

The past year has been very challenging in regards to getting in to see your vet or getting your vet to your farm. The first lockdown in march saw the list say that vets are open but it was a very mixed bag on that..

When the big march lockdown came, the farm vets all shifted and trying to get booked for my standard “herd health” yearly checkup became a dance to find a time they would come.

The small animal vet was even more tricky.. in the first hard push, everything but total emergancy was cancelled, all basic vaccines could wait, you could arrange curbside pickup of meds but no surgeries unless it was life and death.. they requested that the vets send their ppe, and even their meds back to the human health care system.

At the same time, everyone wanted a new puppy, a new kitten and so many peaple gave no thought at all on if they could get a vet or the fact that vets would be raising prices and locally did they raise prices.. in some cases, something that could cost 500 in 2019 suddenly could cost 1000 or more in 2020..

Part of this was that the borders were closed, so no one could take their dogs and cats across the USA border to the very reasonable priced vet care clinics (normally the cheapest way to do so pet care) and just to add to it, the border between ontario and Quebec also did a lock down on travel and so all those amazing Quebec more rural vets that take on a huge number of city clients to keep pet care costs and altering costs down suddenly closed their doors to new clients, to out of province clients.

Ontario has always been the worst province for having the highest costs for vet treatment and care anywhere I have ever lived in canada and of course they raised the prices on the vets in 2020..

So just in case my readers do not know, while certain things are set down by our federal goverment, each province has a vet board and they set “basic” price costs.. they say.. all vets in the province will charge at a min X for this antibodic.

The idea is to create a baseline and its both a good thing and a total shitshow.. it means that because the quebec province has such a massive difference between ontario that you can have 50% to 100% to in some cases upwards of 500% price point difference on some really basic things.

I feel bad for alot of our really amazing great ontario vets that work so hard for their clients..

However (and let me be clear they are still working hard) there are some that have set themselves up as a higher end vet that pricing themselves out of the basic pet market and they are not yet in the mind set that this could be shared issue.. yes the pet owners do need to understand that pets cost money but no.. no one should have to run all the extras in order to have a healthy pet altered.

However its very fair to see some increase in costs this past year and in 2021 and perhaps beyond as they can not get as many clients in. in my clinic, you arrive and you call from the parking lot and you wait in turn, then you come in with mask and cleaning hands and you have to follow their new floor directions into the vet area. they have a sign in area, they have a blocked off different with floor directions to the payment area.

Once your animal is seen, you must leave and go back to your vehicle, they will bring you back for the paperwork and directions etc.. the office is closing a hour early for the cleaning, and I know they are fully booked but still seeing less clients so I fully support and understand that we are seeing a very reasonable 15% incease on our bills.

I have needed to see my small animal vet clinic a few times in 2020 and each time I was so impressed at how well they did everything but also heard that phone ring off the hook non stop and I swear every single time I was there at least one call was from somone new and the answer was always the same.. we are not taking new clients at this time.

I have had so many friends reach out in total shock at the qoutes they have been given on their vet costs in regards to their new kitten or puppies.. Right now for the vets that are taking new clients they are looking at around 600 for cat and around 1000 for dog..

I got my female cat done fully, vet checked, altered, rabies and a medical treatment for bacic care for 280 and I just paid 405 all in for my 50 plus pound male including health check, alter, microchipped, cone of shame collar and a fecal check (which i perferred to just treating and i was right to do so as he did not need meds at this time)

So how are things going in regards to your farm vet care in 2020, have you heard anything yet in regards to 2021? how about your small pet vet?

Did you get a new pet and how have you found it in regards to getting standard vet care in your area?

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10 Responses to Is your Vet available?

  1. valbjerke says:

    I’ve had the same livestock vet for seventeen years….there isn’t another in the area that will do cows or is mobile. (She also has a clinic and splits her days between clinic and mobile).
    I worked for her for a year – until this October. Wow.
    Covid changes – no small animal clients in clinic at all – all dealt with from parking lot. Vet will come talk to you after exam etc. Large animal that is trailered in to the barn – one client only with the animal and must be masked. Scouring calves – please drop at back bay door and phone.
    The phone literally did not stop. People wanting to be new small animal clients (sorry can not accommodate), people who need their small animals euthanized TODAY (having put it off and refused to recognize that the procedure should have been booked long ago). Friday’s was my scheduled phone day – people yelling at me because they think I’m being a jerk for not finding a way to send the vet to their home to euthanize (she offers in home).
    One vet, thousands of clients. Give me a break – she can only be in so many places at once. Emergency after emergency in the middle of the night – colicing horses, calves that need to be c-sectioned out, horses that need to be stitched up. Twelve hour days preg checking cows. And so on.
    Prices. One of my neighbors made a very ignorant comment about how much this vet charges for her services (I’ve always found her to be more than reasonable for costs). This neighbor used to work in a doctors office and do billing and thought this vet was obscenely overpriced. I finally pointed out to her, that unlike her doctor…this vet has her own mobile X-ray equipment, mobile ultrasound, surgery suite, sterilization equipment, dental equipment, lab, etc etc etc. That shut her up.
    There are several small animal vets in our area – they’re all tapped out. Like you say – seems everybody decided to get new puppies and kittens this year. Crazy.

    • valbjerke says:

      Oh – I’m taking my granddaughters cat in next week for a neuter. 150 bucks. I think that’s reasonable. She was quoted as much as 500. But that’s been going on since before Covid. My daughter brought her dog here for a spay years ago – from Fort Mac. Price there (even after SPCA discount) was around 700. Here I think she paid around 250.

      • That is a great price for sure and glad your vet works with your family.. I do underestand that you need to cover costs and yes that does include all that different equiopment choices that most peaple want at their finger tips.. I know that in some cases so do the vets, I get that but it all costs money to buy and time to learn on etc. Yes, my big brother and family take their critters to be done in edmonton most of the time due to the high costs in Fort Mac.

    • I believe it ValB I truly do.. So much work this past year.. so many peaple taking their fruststions out in the wrong way!

  2. arlynch1475 says:

    Miss Maggie was diagnosed with diabetes about a month into lockdown and it’s been a pain in the keister. Our vet will get you in for an emergency/sick visit anytime…but you’re going to sit and wait for a minimum of an hour maybe 2 in your car. And I dont really understand why. They used to be incredibly prompt, maybe another patient or 2 in the waiting room but no big deal. The last time I was there (July?) I actually had to park in the grass because the lot was so full (20+ cars). I’m not sure what the issue is.

  3. Silver says:

    Thank goodness the Cat has not had any emergencies this year. She was a rescue and came to us fixed and microchipped, so the adoption fee was £60.
    Cat needed her annual vaccination and health check in July, I was able to get an appointment with no issue but of course things had calmed down a little bit then. I had to wait outside the building while they took her in to check her over and vaccinate her. To pay, I could either call and do it over the phone, or I could pay contactless as they held their card reader out through a small window by the reception.
    Fingers crossed we don’t have to do anything else for her or that she has an emergency ><

    • That is a very fair price for her adoption, right now our lowest adoption rates for a friendly house cat is 225 canadian. But you can get altered wild outdoor “barn/working cats” for free in the barn cat programs. Interesting, our vet for the first time ever let us pay by e-transfer which is what I did. otherwise ,they do cash only. so you were not allowed in at all, I have heard that from some folks as well that they did the curbside pick up the pet and bring them in.. we never got that.

  4. valbjerke says:

    The vet I worked for has a very progressive clinic manager – you can pay by etransfer, credit card over the phone, we have a mobile pin pad that can be taken out to the car – debit or tap or credit. They also have a clinic specific app that allows you to request an appointment, order medication refills, food etc. This year she set up a live ‘chat’ feature so people who prefer to communicate via text can do so. Very client oriented – though it makes for an incredibly hectic load of duties when you are on the front desk – you have to be checking everything constantly – and still man the phones. 😊

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