South Bend area vets overwhelmed by sick pets, doctor shortage

Only wicked pet

Dr. Lindsey Candey stroked the long fur of Oscar 5.0 Monday afternoon at Magrane Pet Medical Center in Mishawaka. A white and spotted tan rescue cat that recently was brought into the veterinary practice, Oscar now hangs around the office as a “clinic cat” while he waits to be adopted.  For Candey, petting […]

Dr. Lindsey Candey stroked the long fur of Oscar 5.0 Monday afternoon at Magrane Pet Medical Center in Mishawaka.

A white and spotted tan rescue cat that recently was brought into the veterinary practice, Oscar now hangs around the office as a “clinic cat” while he waits to be adopted. 

For Candey, petting him provided a moment’s pause before returning to her next appointment, one of an endless stream of checkups, surgeries and procedures Magrane has performed in the last year.

“It’s been stressful,” she said. “The team has been handling it as best as we can.”  

Local veterinary practices are struggling to keep up with the high demand for veterinary care, as they have since last summer. The demand is attributed to the number of pets acquired during the pandemic, but even more so to the increased number of sick pets, as well as a nationwide shortage of veterinarians.

Many new and old pet owners forwent regular checkups for their animals during the pandemic, and as a result, preliminary indicators of more serious conditions went untreated for several months. Now, many of these medical issues have become serious or even fatal. 

“That’s causing huge strains on the system,” Magrane and Ireland Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Neuhoff said. “I would say emergencies have increased by 50%.” 

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