Vet services remain limited: ‘Have an emergency plan in place’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On November 27, Rochester’s only emergency vet clinic in Rochester, Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services, will close.

That means pet owners will have to go to Buffalo and Syracuse if they have an emergency outside of regular business hours.

But staffing shortages are hitting those locations, too. Lollypop Farm told News10NBC that Orchard Park Emergency Services will not have an on-call surgeon this weekend.

Pet advocates say now is the time to ensure an emergency plan is in place.

Adrienne Mchargue, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with Lollypop said these clinics need to be properly staffed to handle emergencies. An on-call surgeon is important, because they provide specialized care and expertise.

It’s not just the veterinarians that handle an emergency; It’s the support staff, technicians, assistants and customer care.

Mchargue is encouraging pet owners to consider veterinary telemedicine. She said it’s great for triage, and Lollypop can direct families to resources for 24/7 telemedicine.

She said telemedicine can give a pet owner peace of mind, if they’re unsure it’s a true emergency.

Additionally, she’s encouraging pet owners to take a preventative approach to their pet’s care.

“Really think about wellness and prevention for your pets. So make sure your pets are vaccinated, make sure they’re wearing an ID tag, they’re microchipped, and if at all possible, set aside some savings to handle when an emergency happens, or invest in pet health insurance. It’s not that expensive,” she said.

Mchargue says the Lollypop community is in constant communication locally, and regionally, with other vet clinics to discuss solutions, partnerships and resources. Right now there’s no easy fix to the staffing crisis, but they’re hoping to land on one soon.

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