Survey Reveals Which Conditions Vets Have Found More Challenging to Manage During the Covid-19 Pandemic.
A survey of vets conducted by Hamilton Specialist Referrals, High Wycombe, has revealed a significant rise in the perceived incidence of behavioural problems, obesity and diarrhoea in first opinion practice over the last 12 months.
Over 60% of vets surveyed reported an increase in the incidence of obesity and diarrhoea incidence since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. A staggering 80% noted increased behavioural problems in pets. Urinary tract disorders and haemorrhagic gastroenteritis were also reported to be more common by almost half of the 60 respondents.
When asked which conditions had been harder to manage clinically since the start of the pandemic, chronic medical conditions topped the list. Diabetes in cats was reported to be harder to manage by 37% of vets, slightly more than diabetes in dogs (32%). Other conditions which presented increased challenges to management included hormonal disorders, such as hyper- and hypo-adrenocorticism (32%) and chronic gastroenteritis (28%). While a significant number found skin disease harder to manage (36%), a small number reported it to be easier to manage (7%).
Medicine specialist, Dr Stefanie Mitze, says, “We conducted the survey to help us understand changes in disease incidence and the clinical challenges faced by our colleagues in first opinion practice over the last year. The fact that the incidence of disorders which can have a stress-related component, including behavioural problems, diarrhoea and urinary tract disease, were reported to have increased by a high proportion of respondents indicates that many pets may be experiencing heightened stress during the pandemic.”
In response the fact that chronic medical cases were frequently reported to be harder to manage, Dr. Mitze will be creating free bitesize CPD videos to help manage these cases within Covid restrictions. She comments, “We recognise the past year has been challenging, especially with complex staffing issues, reduced vet visits and restricted face-to-face communication with clients. For complex, chronic medical conditions, especially those which require frequent follow up, we wanted to support colleagues in providing the best care possible in the current circumstances. We hope these CPD sessions will provide practical tips to help deliver just that.