Small vent making appt with vet for a week out

My dog has come up with a mangy look over her butt this weekend. I just called 2 vets trying to make an appt. I don’t take the dog in unless she is sick. It is not an emergency, but it is serious.The first one is down two vets, and the second is just booked. This has been going on long before this pandemic. There are other vets in the area but one I went to in the summer was terrible. I mostly deal with these two, and am quite frustrated.

This is everywhere. There is a shortage of vets and a surplus of pets in need of care.

It might be easier to get this type of appointment if you had a regular, consistent, routine care relationship with the vet practice (you say you only take the dog in if it is sick). I would guess most over burdened vet practices are prioritizing their available appointments to their routine clients and what appointments are left over are allotted to ‘when they get sick’ clients.

I can say that the practice that I use has typically been - call this week to get a routine vaccine appointment for next week or the week after. Now the earliest appointment I can get is a month out. When I have called for a sick pet, they do get me right in.


This is sadly everywhere; too many pets, not enough vets. I made an appointment in August to for my cat to be seen by a dermatologist… Closest appointment was January 2022. In May, I scheduled for a cardiologist and that appointment didn’t happen until July.

I hope your dog can be seen shortly and it is nothing serious.


My regular vet referred me to a specialist vet (for an ultrasound for one of my cats). The soonest appointment I could get was a little over 2 months away.

For my regular vet, it can sometimes be 1-2 weeks for appointments like annual exams, etc.

If you think your dog needs to be seen before a week, I guess you’ll have to take her to an emergency clinic that has same day or after hours appointments. I got turned away from an emergency clinic once. They had more patients than they could see for the time they were open so they stopped taking patients after a certain time.

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I think this is just par for the course - I am VERY lucky to have a great relationship with my vets and they are always willing to try to work in my animals (as in, “Nigel’s not feeling well, can I bring him by for a checkup this afternoon? Great, see you in half an hour!”) - but I’ve been with them forever and I’m pretty sure I’ve put at least the oldest daughter through college by this point.

That said, for elective surgeries, the wait time is long. I booked Itty Bitty for her spay in early October, thinking I could get her in quickly - but the earliest time they had was December 7!

Is there another vet in the area, even out of town, you could try? Or an emergency clinic in a larger town you could try this weekend?


Be careful with this plan.
Lots of the emergency clinics are ending up filled and not taking anything in.

I had a cat that was sick to the point that he was not willing to move and was screaming in pain so I called the E-vet and was told they were at capacity and since my cat was still willing to eat (treats) it was not considered an emergency. They also told me that the big college that is a couple of hours away is also at capacity.
Thankfully my regular vet took my poor cat as a drop off first thing Monday morning when they opened.


That’s such a scary position to be in!

I am very concerned about the shortage of vets - especially for those of us with pets with issues.

I do think a good relationship with your vet can get you in quicker. My dog had a pretty bad instance with digestive upset a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to get some meds called in even though they didn’t have an appointment. I doubt they would’ve done that if they didn’t see him all of the time (he’s old and had some issues).


If the dog is in extreme discomfort then won’t most vets you have a good relationship with get you in somewhere or see you after hours? ( mine do).

If the dog is just mangy looking and it isn’t an emergency why should they see him immediately if they have all slots full?

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there are a few, I am toyingg with the idea of emergency vet. I have been thru sevral vets in town, the best oneI left on bad terms. There was one excellent vet that I loved and a mediocre one I didnt. Everyone wanted Dr X but some got shunted to Dr Y. I had just had a cat pts and was still freaked out by it. Another cat was quite sick so we came in. Dr X was standing in the lobby talking to a client.Then he went back in the back room. I asked if I could see him, and was told he was gone. As in not there. We had kind of gone around about Dr Y, but I left that vet for one my sister and niece see and swear by.
I am not totally happy with them-I lost a cat I thought could be saved, but…he wasn’t. I never even got a good reading of what was wrong with him. So, I mostly just go when there is an issue or need nails done or rabies tags. Fortunately this bunch I have now are pretty healthy. I havve been to see another vet that I like but she is booked till Friday. There are other vets around but one that I went to last summer was really awful, and I think now the only reason I got in was because everyone else knows not to go there.

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Her skin is showing thru her hair. it should not be visable. Her whole hindquarterss(?) look like they have been brushed the wrong way, and yet, I do not see her digging and scratching at them. She is sleeping peacefully at my feet. Like I said, I think it is serious but not an emergency

We have two vets in my town. We had three but one guy died (too bad, he was great). They are all booking out at least a month. One practice does have three vets but still…a month. We have room for at least two more vets.

@Larksmom - could this be an allergic reaction? Mange or similar would cause itching but an allergic reaction - maybe to food - not so much. Whatever the case, I hope you can get her in soon and she gets better.

I would not recommend going to the emergency vet for a mangy skin issue unless you want to spend a lot more money than you probably need to.

I have a super long track record as a regular client of my vet (since 1992 but he just retired 10/30) and it was still several days or a week to get an appointment last time I called for a non-emergency issue I wanted checked out (bump on dog’s foot). I’m sure if I had a more pressing issue he would have squeezed me in sooner.


Ugh I’m so sorry. I hope you get it figured out. And yea it’s everywhere. I can understand the pandemic pet craze has everyone booked up but two things get on my nerves.

First, it’s the constant email/text reminders about routine care appointments I get, I guess it’s automated but still…why harass me about “senior health checkup” on my 5 year old cat if you can’t book it for two weeks? I did get a human call from the office pushing me to schedule a cleaning and possible extraction. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

And then, I wish there could be tiers of appointments. Very rarely do I ever need an actual vet. Not needed to give vaccines. Not needed for blood draw. Not needed for all the extra appointments I get dragged to be because vet won’t dispense more than 2 months of meds (steroids) without more appointments/$125 blood draws with my very geriatric dog.

At some point I feel like my pets’ care is TOO comprehensive and it’s creating a shortage of appointments when something goes off the rails.

There has to be a better way.


Have you asked for a tech appointment? (Guessing you have.)
At the vet I use, if the appointment qualifies as a tech appointment they will suggest that to you.
The catch is, if you take Fido in once per year then Fido needs to have a yearly physical by the vet to then be able to be dispensed the various meds.
I have a cat who had one vaccine that was on its own schedule (adopted cat). When he would go in for that vaccine it was done by a tech, since he got his yearly physical at the other appointment. (We have since shifted things enough that they all happen at the same time of year now.)


I am sure that at the one vet I use they do not have techs. The newer nicer one might but no I didn’t think of that. I guess I would htink if that service was available, they would have suggested it.

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No way ^ vet does not have techs !
All vets depend on techs … surgery and general care for hospitalized animals - perhaps you have never seen them, but they are there and working to save animals. Tip them whenever they help your animal - they work hard for low salary.


All vets have techs, but many practices do not offer tech appointments. It seems like it is possibly a regional thing, and might depend on state regulations.


I have never heard of tech appointments, but it’s not a bad idea. One Saturday when I was waiting for several hours at an emergency clinic, I thought that techs could do some of the appointments (wound cleaning, change bandage, etc.) and that might cut down on the wait time for everyone.

When I had to start one of my cats on subQ fluids, a tech at the clinic showed me how to do it.

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The last time I scheduled a regular checkup for my dog my vet was booked SIX weeks out. They did offer to let me just drip him off and look at him when they could if I wanted him seen sooner.

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Of course they have techs, but I wouldn’t think of scheduling with them. Mostly young girls. I guess that isn’t done around here. I had nevr thought about tipping them. I will keep that in mind.

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