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Veterinarians are hard to come by in The County

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Veterinarians are hard to come by in The County. One veterinarian has had to do something he’s never done before: a waiting list. Megan Cole has more on why this shortage exists.

Pets are a great additions to any family, but they do need care and with the lack of veterinarians in the area, finding care has been difficult. Dr. Hotham of Hotham’s veterinary service says that with the increased need for vet care, he’s had to create a waiting list.

“We have a list that you know we’ll call people saying listen we have an opening could you be here for that and you know sometimes that’s helpful but I mean we’ve never had to do this before really it’s just really in the past year or so and really only the last 3-4 months that we’ve really had to kind of put the brakes on a bit because it’s just overwhelming for us overwhelming for my doctors.”

“We finally found a vet down in Chester that is willing to work with us. When COVID hit, we went almost 6 months without vet care because out vet was in Canada and we couldn’t get across the border and the local vets were not accepting new clients so it just made it very difficult. "

Dr. Brian Blanchard is a licensed veterinarian who specializes in large animals. He says that he thinks there is such a shortage because of how rural the county is.

“I think it’s tough to get veterinarians into these rural areas period because you know it’s….as much as I’m a person who enjoys rural areas, wide open spaces, quiet…there’s few far between anymore folks that seem to think that way.”

Dr. Blanchard says he is in the process of starting his own mobile vet service and will be covering mid-coast, down-east and northern Maine. He says that with covering such a large area, it will be a challenge.

“I was an associate with a practice the first seven months out of school in these areas Aroostook county, down-east, and there’s three of us and one vet on call at the time and definitely like you say we were spread pretty thin despite having 3 vets. It definitely is tough a lot of windshield time we call it.”

All say, if you can’t find a vet in your local area, keep trying. They say you may even have to look south.

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