Kansas veterinarian clinics flooded with new animals, wait times increasing


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Raising a puppy or kitten can be exhausting for pet owners. That stress now making its way to veterinarian clinics.

“It’s been exhausting for the technicians, the receptionist, and also the doctors,” said Dr. Michelle Rypma with Northrock Hospital for Animals. “Just because of the volume that we’re seeing.”

The pandemic bringing a surge in pets needing care.

“A lot of people were home so they just thought now’s a good time to get a puppy to house train them and do that. I think you know a lot of people home, so they’re seeing things that they may not normally see,” Dr. Rypma said.

Dr. Rypma has been a veterinarian for 26 years, and she says she has never seen a surge like this. The demand filling up appointment books for clinics old and new.

“We’re busy to the point where it is very stressful because there are only so many veterinarians,” said Dr. Christy Rafferty with Wichita Pet Wellness.

“We at least had a 25% increase in what our daily volume is and some days maybe even more than that,” said Dr. Rypma.

The backlog forcing pet owners seeking care for basic visits to wait.

“We’d be happy to get you scheduled. It’ll be about 10 days from now,” explained Dr. Raffetry.

Although busy, Dr. Rafferty says they do their best to keep some slots open for emergencies.

“They got to be seen. We need to help them but sometimes that means, most of the time, that means some very, very long hours for us.”

How long will the backlog last? Dr. Rypma says time will tell whether this surge continues or not. In the meantime, both clinics ask for pet owners to be patient.

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