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Veterinarian Shortage

Credit: KOAM
Published 2 days ago -

Veterinarian Shortage

For hundreds across the four-states, farming and livestock is their livelihood.

A big part of that is having a good veterinarian.

But, that's something experts say is getting harder to do because of a veterinarian shortage.

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Veterinarian Shortage

Jordan: for hundreds across the four-states, farming and livestock is their livelihood.

A big part of that is having a good veterinarian.

But, that's something experts say is getting harder to do because of a veterinarian shortage.

Koam's zach dodge has the story.

Darrel clark is the vet for seneca veterinary clinic..

But most days, you won't find him there.

Nats: "cow mooing."

He travels all over southwest missouri and northeast oklahoma..

Going from farm to farm doing house calls.

But his job keeps getting tougher because he can't keep up with demand.

Clark: "there's probably two or three in miami and i don't know of any mixed animal practitioners that are up and able in this point in time in neosho.

And i don't know..

I don't think there's enough time in the day to service everybody that needs serviced."

According to the missouri department of agriculture, there's a shortage of vetererinarians that care for large animals all over rural areas in the four states.

So in places like vernon county..

The ratio of vets to large animals is 206-thousand to one.

Clark: "since there's less veterinarians to take the business on, it stretches the ones that do exist a lot thinner."

David prigel, a veterinary technology teacher at crowder college, says a large majority of their graduates go to small animal practices.

Prigel: "because they have a large debt and they see that i can go to work at a small animal clinic and make 20-percent more in missouri.

If they want to go to wisconsin, ya know some of the huge dairy areas, or big beef areas, they can make a very good living as a large animal veterinarian, but it requires..

That's a big change."

Another reason many vets work in city settings is money.

Prigel: "the average livestock owner, their profit margin gets tighter and tighter, and a veterinarian, their overhead just keeps going up, and the only way they can increase more cash flow is to increase their fees, which is counter intuitive for the beef farmer because their margin gets tighter and tighter."

While there isn't a simple solution..

Both prigle and clark say there's something that could help.

Clark: "you know, in the human field they have pas.

I think that's something they should be looking at is how do we train people to a level where they could be considered a veterinary pa.

It might help distribute some of the stress, some of the load of what we're going through and still get all the work done for all the people that need it done."

In newton county, zach dodge, koam news.

Jordan: according to the association of american veterinary medical colleges, it costs more than 200-thousand dollars to get a d-v-m at the university of missouri.

There is a grant in missouri that gives 20-thousand dollars back to veterinarian graduates who start working in undeserved areas.

But that's only offered to six people each year.

Jordan:

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