Letter: Getting look after pets in Sudbury now a challenge

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I’ve been fortunate to have elderly animals in excellent health – up until now.

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One in all my cats has fallen unwell and in my seek for good, comprehensive medical care, it has been made abundantly clear that Sudbury not offers that – anywhere. Even places within the outskirts like Walden and Chelmsford aren’t accepting recent patients. One receptionist even suggested that I travel outside of our area, namely Barrie, to get pet care.

But why should I? Here, now we have greater than 20 veterinary hospitals and care centres, so finding an acceptable match shouldn’t be an issue, right?  Mistaken. I’ve spent days calling every animal hospital conceivable and one of the best response I got was that I could possibly be placed on a waiting list with greater than 150 people ahead of me.

And to top all of it off, if a hospital could take my poor little five-pound tabby, it could cost me greater than $500 simply to get the golf-ball-sized mass on her side tested, let alone having a veterinary skilled examine her. 

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In all places I’ve turned it’s been “we’re overloaded”, “our vets are burnt out” and “there’s an excessive amount of of a requirement”. 

Disheartening, yes, but then I began comparing our “animal” hospital debacle to our “human” hospital disaster here within the Sudbury area. Do any of those quotes sound oddly familiar like “overloaded”, “burnt out” and “an excessive amount of demand”? 

So, if we don’t even have access to look after 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 attend, 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 so they pose for our cameras. They lower our blood pressure and greet us on the door after work like we’re the Beatles. 

So why can’t we offer them with the easy act of affection of giving them medical attention when needed at an affordable price?

Nadia Jireada (a cat lady)

Sudbury