Veterinarians are taking flight in some parts of Missouri

August 21, 2019 - 5:09 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri is facing a shortage of veterinarians qualified to treat large animals, such as horses, cattle and even bigger dogs.

It's not just Missouri with the problem, though. According to Bob Larson, Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, the issue is localized, and can effect a number of services in different ways. 

"There can be a delay in the time it takes to get a veterinarian to get to a location and to address a problem," Larson explained. "Then there are other parts of the country that there seems to be good coverage of veterinary services."

And because the issue is hyper-localized, it can be difficult to pinpoint individual fixes to the shortage issue. 

"It's very hard to come up with blanket solutions or recommendations," Larson said. "I think it's very specific to a given geographic area depending on the concentration of human population as well as the animal population."

Larson says that at Kansas State, they're encouraging young veterinary students to study large animal medicine, but more needs to be done to ensure animals aren't getting sick and dying needlessly. 

"Even if we were perfectly staffed right now, there would still be the need to recruit and train veterinarians at the normal turnover rate," Larson said. "So I think that's a very important thing to do."

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