A boom in cat and dog adoptions during the lockdown and now there is a lack of both drugs to treat them and vaccines to immunize them from viruses. For months, even the drugs used by veterinarians to practice euthanasia were unavailable, and there is still a lack of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Aisa, the National Association of Animal Health Companies (Federchimica), sounded the alarm for the health of pets after reports from veterinarians struggling with a shortage of vaccines began to arrive from all over Italy and medicines never happened before.
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“The decrease in the availability of vaccines – explained the president of Aisa, Arianna Bolla – it is partly due to the demographic explosion of pets we witnessed during the lockdown periods. “More than one in three Italian families have at least one animal at home, but in the year of Covid there was a real just a boom in adoptions with a 15% increase in dogs and cats that have found hospitality in homes according to the Enpa (National Animal Protection Authority) which already recorded this phenomenon at the beginning of the year. “In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic – continues Bolla – and the rush to produce vaccines has contributed to making common packaging materials such as glass vials or plastic seals difficult to find “.
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Situation confirmed by the veterinarians themselves. Maurizio Albano, doctor of the San Francesco Veterinary Clinic in Rome explains: “In reality, we have been living in these conditions for months and we know that what is missing are mainly packaging materials, especially ampoules. Because? They explained to us that many companies have diverted production towards Covid vaccines. We veterinarians did our part trying to deal with the situation by networking, but now even those who had placed large orders like us in the clinic where we also have an emergency room, have empty warehouses. If this continues, we will face serious problems for the health of our dogs and cats ”. From Rome to Sassari, the problem is the same. Sara Sechi, veterinarian at the University of Sassari says: “We spent months in the midst of a thousand difficulties. Even to practice euthanasia, we had no drugs and we had to resort to other protocols. Now those drugs are back, but what worries us above all is the lack of vaccines, such as the one against viral gastronteritis, which is very dangerous for puppies. Without it, they risk their lives. Not only. Many animals in this period have had to suspend courses of administration already started, such as dogs that were following a therapy for chronic arthritis that lasts nine months: one injection is scheduled per month, but we have had to suspend the treatment. The drugs did not arrive. When will this emergency end? Nobody has told us anything yet. The only positive note is that in recent days the production of some vaccines seems to have resumed. I received a box, hopefully it is a sign that it is returning to normal ”.
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And it is Aisa herself who hopes to review the shelves of veterinarians in order, urging the commitment of all companies to produce vaccines, but the solution does not seem close. “SWe are aware of the situation that pet owners, patients and veterinarians are facing, but the global situation due to the pandemic, the demographic explosion of the pet population, the complexity of the production processes leads us to estimate an improvement in the situation starting from the first months of 2022 – continues President Bolla – companies are operating at full capacity, looking for solutions that will allow to restore, in the shortest possible time, a correct supply of vaccines. “We’ll talk again in 2022.