Animal hospitals see spike in visits since start of pandemic

Posted at 9:10 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-15 10:57:18-04

We humans might be avoiding the doctor’s office right now, but veterinary hospitals across the country say they’re busier than ever during the pandemic.

Veterinarians in Montana are also experiencing the spike, including Alpine Animal Clinic in Helena, where they’ve established socially distanced visits with curbside drop off and pick up.

"It’s so inefficient with Covid,” said Dr. Heidi Wampler, a veterinarian. “We’re trying to protect our staff with curbside care, and it takes a lot longer. But yet, interestingly, we’re seeing about a 23% increase in our business.”

Dr. Wampler said summer is typically their busy season, but pet ownership has spiked since the start of the pandemic, prompting more people to visit the vet.

"It really has stretched us, trying to meet that need for emergency demand, while also keeping staff safe,” she said.

Morgan Davies owns two Bernese Mountain Dogs named Ranger and Pepper and lives in Bozeman. She said she appreciates the steps veterinarian staff are taking to keep the whole family healthy.

“During coronavirus, we actually had to get Ranger neutered, and his stomach tacked,” she said. Her appointments involved dropping Ranger off curbside, not using their own leash, and not going inside the vet’s office.

"Just to keep us safe, and the vet safe, and still make sure our dogs can get treated,” she said.