Hagen: pet boom – veterinarian sees several problems

Hagen: pet boom – veterinarian sees several problems

Veterinarian Dr. Petra Borsuck examines the Australian Shepherd Jindabyne in her practice in Hohenlimburg with veterinary assistant Karolin Rump.

Photo by Michael Kleinrensing / WP

Hohenlimburg. In many households a quadruped moved in with the Pandemie. This has not only positive sides, reports veterinarian Petra Borsuck

The pandemic also challenges veterinary practices. For more than two decades, veterinarian Petra Borsuck has been running a practice in Hohenlimburg. Why the pet boom in the past two Corona years has not only positive sides and how her practice meets the shortage of young veterinarians.

Illegal transport of animals

The patients of the practice in the Paulshof primarily include pets, i.e. dogs, cats, rodents or even birds. During the pandemic, many people have acquired a new pet. Not entirely unproblematic, finds the veterinarian: "The more animals are bought and requested, the more animals are needed. At the breeders, therefore, there are often long waiting times. What happens as a result is that more and more animals are imported from other countries through dark channels," Borsuck said. "Not only are they often transported illegally, but they can also carry infectious diseases because they are usually not adequately vaccinated."

But the high popularity of pets in Corona times, he said, brings other problems: because dog schools had hardly opened in the last two years because of the pandemic, they lacked an important place to go for young animals. This leads to the fact that the animals can not learn how it is to have contact with other dogs, to play with them or to behave properly during walks. "I have experienced that, for example, especially puppies are not sufficiently socialized."And if the animals are not socialized, they also learn no boundaries.

Fear of abandonment in pets

A further problem must Dr. Petra Borsuck then also treat in her practice: "Since many people are in the home office since the beginning of the pandemic, the animals do not learn from the beginning to be alone."Of course it’s great to be able to devote yourself completely to your new family member at the beginning, says Borsuck, "but when the work in the home office is over one day, fears of abandonment often arise." These fears could in the first place can lead "to the fact that the animals bark constantly at home or destroy even under fear the interior arrangement." However, they could be trained off and even treated with medication.

Physician shortage aggravated

As the number of pets in the pandemic has increased significantly, the need for veterinary care is now also increasing. "Especially in the small animal sector this development is noticeable. They really suffer," says Silke Moberg, chairwoman of the Hagen and Ennepe-Ruhr district veterinary association. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that practices are increasingly short of doctors. There is a shortage of new blood, which is also a cause for concern in Hohenlimburg. The lack of graduates in veterinary medicine could lead to an undersupply, fears Petra Borsuck. The local veterinarian can only guess what the reason for this is: "Access to studies is restricted by a numerus clausus. In addition, around 95 percent of students are women, who often also think about family planning."

All the more important for them the training: Two veterinary assistants are currently being trained in the practice at Paulshof. "Guiding young people in the profession and seeing the work fall on fertile ground is a lot of fun and ensures that both humans and animals are healthy and satisfied."

Pets no pandemic driver

When it comes to the current continued rise in Corona infections, pets aren’t commonly considered culprits for this trend. According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, the animals played no role in the spread of the virus according to current knowledge.

The question of whether pets should be vaccinated against Corona is not currently being discussed. So far, FLI sees no evidence that covid-19 has been transmitted from animals to humans. Conversely, there are hardly more than a handful of known cases in which masters or mistresses have infected their animals with the virus. In general, cats and dogs showed only mild or no symptoms of illness when infected with corona.

17 members of the practice team

Petra Borsuck has run a practice in Hohenlimburg for 26 years. In 2000 it moved to its present location. The team consists of five doctors and twelve veterinary assistants.

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