Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello - of course it is less than ideal for a dog with a urine infection to wait 24 hours for treatment, but I suspect that it is not uncommon. However, I don't have any official figures regarding how long a dog - or indeed, a human - with a urine infection waits to receive treatment on average. I suspect that it may be longer than 24 hours, but have no back-up data. Nor do I know at what stage in proceedings the vet became aware of your phone call, or what they were doing when you called, or what they had been doing all morning or indeed whether they had had time for a five minute break, let alone whatever the minimum is that workers are entitled to (normal vet hours are around 8.30am-7.00pm) that day. What I do know, having worked in a lot of practices over the years, is that most individuals within the industry are doing the best they can with the resources they have - but that the veterinary profession has recently lost a lot of EU workers and a lot of burned-out workers post-Covid. This is not an excuse and nor is it an answer to your dogs' concerns, but it is important that you appreciate the background against which this question is being asked; that any problem with waiting times may be a wider, systemic one and not the fault of an individual vet who was trying to get through their day. Does this mean that you shouldn't raise these concerns? Of course it doesn't - and given that you thoughtfully asked this question, you probably don't need me to suggest that you do so sensitively. Unfortunately, most vets don't have a handy A&E department they can send emergencies to during the day; when I was an emergency vet, we worked 6.30pm through to 8am and the building was used by a very busy charity clinic during daylight hours. Vets work in a constant state of triage - trying to see then most important case in front of them, while also trying to honour routine appointments.