Arnprior News: Gillies Grove Animal Hospital Loses Veterinarian

An Arnprior veterinary clinic is unable to care for pets for the next month after losing its vet.

On July 20, Gillies Grove Animal Hospital posted on social media that it could no longer provide medical exams starting August 1. The statement reads in full:

“Due to understaffing and reduced vet availability, we will no longer be booking exams from August 1. We are working to find a solution and will communicate any further availability once known. We will continue to be open for all food and prescription orders, including refills for tick and flea preventative products. For medication refills, please give our team 48-72 hours notice. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your continued support.

McNab/Braeside resident Kieran Green has three pets – a dog and two cats – registered at Gillies Grove Animal Hospital and has been attending the clinic for 10 years.

Green says he learned the news when he visited his vet in July.

“During the conversation, she said, ‘Oh, by the way, at the end of next week I’m leaving,'” Green recalled.

“And it was a shock; no one had told us. We hadn’t received any information that we were losing the vet.”

With only one other veterinary practice in Arnprior, Green worries about securing a place at a new clinic for his pets and how far he may have to travel to do so.

“If something goes wrong, we don’t know who we should turn to.”

In a statement to CTV News, VetStrategy, the company that owns Gillies Grove Animal Hospital, said a part-time vet will be available to help support the location beginning in September.

The impact of only one veterinarian leaving the community highlights the shortage of veterinarians across the province.

“The challenges we see and hear about in human medicine are certainly mirrored in veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Albert Wimmer, past president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.

“We have an increased workload, more patients than ever,” says Wimmer. “The past two and a half years have not been good for veterinary medicine as a whole.”

The impact of a veterinarian leaving a community could result in the loss of more than 2,000 pets without care, according to Wimmer.

Her advice is not to wait for a situation to deteriorate before looking for a new vet.

“Just start calling, talk to friends, see if you can develop a relationship with another clinic.”

Green isn’t sure whether to look for a new clinic for his pets or risk waiting and seeing more places fill up.

“Should we go get a new vet right now or should we hang on? We just don’t know.

Benjamin M. Yerger