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Letter: Vet care hard to come by in Sudbury

Local cat mom can’t find a vet for her sick pet

I’ve been fortunate to have to elderly animals in very good health – up until now. One of my cats has fallen ill, and in my search for good, comprehensive medical care, it has been made abundantly clear that Sudbury no longer offers that – anywhere.  

Even outskirts like Walden and Chelmsford are not accepting new patients. One receptionist even suggested that I travel outside of our area, namely Barrie, to get pet care. But why should I? 

Here, we have over 20 veterinary hospitals and care centres, so finding a suitable match shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong.  

I’ve spent days calling every animal hospital imaginable and the best response I got was that I could be put on a waiting list with over 150 people ahead of me. And to top it all off, IF a hospital could take my poor little 5 pound tabby, it would cost me over $500 just to get the golf-ball sized mass on her side tested, let alone having her examined by a veterinary professional. 

Everywhere I’ve turned it’s been “we’re overloaded,” “our vets are burnt out” and “there’s too much of a demand.”  

Disheartening, yes, but then I started comparing our “animal” hospital debacle to our “human” hospital disaster here in the Sudbury area.  

Do any of these quotes sound oddly familiar, like “overloaded,” “burnt out” and “too much demand?”  So, if we don’t even have access to care for our pets, and if we do, the financial damage is astronomical, aren’t we mimicking that in our own health system by overworking our nurses and doctors, closing beds, increasing wait times and denying essential palliative care?  

So now, like many local patients, my cat who has been with me for 10 years has to wait, perhaps facing her death at any moment.  

We love our pets. We take out insurance for our pets. We dress them up in ridiculous outfits and they pose for our cameras. They lower our blood pressure and greet us at the door after work like we’re the Beatles.  

So why can’t we provide them with the simple act of love of giving them medical attention when needed at a reasonable price? 

Nadia Jireada

Greater Sudbury