Urgent care veterinary clinic under construction in Libertyville
Your dog is limping after running around in the yard. What to do?
You could wait days to see your primary care veterinarian. Or you could visit a more expensive specialty or emergency hospital. But a husband-wife veterinary team from Libertyville soon will offer another option.
Jami-Lyn Derse and Baruch Caballero say their urgent care clinic for sick or injured dogs and cats will fill a gap in available same-day services. A limp, scratched eye, vomiting, or an allergic reaction to a bee sting, for example, are the types of injuries for which VetMedic could be the answer.
"Anything that requires urgent care," Derse said. "It's based on the human model."
The foundation for VetMedic, 175 Peterson Road, just west of Milwaukee Avenue between Ace Hardware and Splash Hand Car Wash, was poured this week.
"We're planning to open in the summer," Derse said.
Derse is the founder of Veterinary Housecall Care LLC, a home-visit vet service. She also is an emergency and critical care vet at specialty and emergency animal hospitals.
She and Caballero have lived in Libertyville since 2009 and have extensive experience with emergency veterinary care in Chicago and the Northern suburbs.
According to Derse, pet ownership increased dramatically with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. People had more time to care for new pets, and now that they are more frequently working from home, they are more aware of their pet's daily condition, Derse said. That means more trips to the vet.
"The general practices are getting very full and busy," she said. Getting an appointment for the limping dog, for example, could take up to a week, according to Derse.
An emergency hospital may be an alternative, but services are more expensive and the average wait can be several hours, she added.
The couple say VetMedic will provide a needed service and allow local vets to better serve regular clients. Case loads at local offices and emergency and specialty hospitals in Grayslake and Buffalo Grove would be reduced, according to the plan.
The goal of VetMedic, said Derse, is to work with the daytime practitioners.
"We will be working in collaboration with the vets in the area, not competing with them," Derse said.
VetMedic will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Cases determined to be critical, requiring extensive work or overnight care will be referred to local specialty or emergency hospitals.
Some clinics became increasingly busy over the past few years largely due to concentrated demand created as they closed early in the pandemic and had to catch up after reopening, said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association.
Experiences vary, but clinics appear to be gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels as staff absences due to illness are decreasing, she added.
However, those in emergency and specialty practices have been particularly challenged, Teller said.
The organization urges pet owners who don't have a primary care veterinarian to establish a relationship with one now when a visit is a choice, not an emergency. Also, owners should seek wellness care for their pets to avoid preventable illnesses, she said.