Central Oregon veterinarians face pet sedative shortage

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Veterinarians in central Oregon say an opioid shortage is forcing clinics to use less potent anesthetics when performing surgeries on pets.

Byron Maas of the Bend Veterinary Clinic says veterinarians in the region are using new protocols for getting pets under anesthesia and keeping them under so they don’t feel pain.

Rhonda Ahern of the Bend Spay and Neuter Project tells The Bulletin that the nonprofit clinic is restricting how many large female dogs are being spayed because they need more sedatives than smaller dogs.

Attempts have been made to fight an opioid epidemic among humans amid overdose deaths attributed to the addictive drugs, leading to restrictions.

Central Oregon veterinarians say they expect the shortage of sedatives for pets to subside in the next several months.