March 2022 Update
The last two years have presented immense and unprecedented challenges for all of us. As we’re sure many of our patients’ owners have noticed, we have become incredibly busy. Pet ownership has been increasing dramatically (which is at least partially related to more people working from home) as well as more people are moving to Lynden and the surrounding areas. As a result, the demand for our services has almost doubled. Most vet hospitals in the area, as well as throughout the country, are dealing with similar challenges.
For the last two years or so, on a typical eight-hour day, we are able to see about thirty to thirty-five patients. Four or five of those patients are surgeries, at least twenty of them are appointments (often double booked), and then we also accommodate a certain amount of drop-off patients which are fit in amongst the surgeries and appointments. We also sign up anywhere between one and five new patients per day. We currently have only one full-time doctor and one part-time doctor. Hopefully this helps to illustrate how busy our days are.
We would not be in this industry if we didn’t love animals and want to help as many as we possibly can, so we pack our schedule as full as we can manage so we can see as many pets as possible. When we say we are booked out solid, we quite literally are. If a pet is experiencing a more urgent health concern, it has been almost impossible for us to fit them in sooner than a week unless we had a last minute cancellation. We receive multiple requests for same-day appointments per day. It breaks our hearts to have to turn away pets that need to be seen sooner than our soonest available appointment but there simply isn’t enough time in the day to see all the pets that need to be seen without compromising patient care. We are also not an emergency hospital.
It has been very challenging to hire more staff as well. We have had active job postings for years. Due to the stress of nation-wide increased demand and being on the receiving end of frustrations with government-mandated social distancing guidelines and “curb-side” policies, more vet industry workers are leaving the field than ever before. The vet industry already has some of the highest rates of burnout, compassion fatigue, and suicide; the challenges of the last two years have only exacerbated these issues.
So the next time your pet is unwell and you want us to see your pet as soon as possible, we ask that you keep all this in mind. We are all pet owners too so we understand the worry and stress of having an unwell pet. We will always do our absolute best to see your pet as soon as our schedule allows. However, we do not have any control over the demand for our services or over government mandates. We also do not tolerate verbal abuse of any kind.
To our many new patients and their owners, welcome! We are honored that you have chosen us and entrusted us with the care of your beloved pets. To our established pet owners, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued trust and loyalty. And to everyone, we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this “new normal” together.
Dr. Berry, Dr. Look and the entire staff
Lynden Pet Health - Lynden Veterinary Hospital
Lynden Veterinary Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical facility, located in Lynden, WA. Our professional and courteous staff at Lynden Veterinary Hospital seek to provide the best possible medical, surgical, and dental care for our highly-valued patients.
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