I've never heard this 'crap', please excuse my french. But have you ever heard of a vet no longer taking new patients? I'm at my wits end and i'm beginning to have a negative view of many veterinarians.
I'm sure it's a definite possibility. My clinic has 4 doctors seeing appointments on any given day and we're still booked out almost a week in advance. Sometimes I wish we could tell people we aren't accepting new clients just because it's really hard to tell people over and over that we don't have any appointments available. I understand your frustration though, and I'm sure clients who call my hospital share it.
I can understand your frustration. I have a difficult time getting a last-minute appointment at my regular vet's office when my cats are sick. One time they even referred me to another clinic because they were booked solid! I wasn't happy about that, but my kitty was sick and needed to see the vet, so we went to another practice.
I had the same issue when one of my cats got sick a couple of months ago. I was lucky because my friend was able to get me into the vet she uses. She actually called her vets office and got the appointment when mine had no openings. The odd thing was when I called my vet to make the appointment for tomorrow on my day off they had appointments that night. The only issue was that Sonny is really difficult to get in the carrier and his foster mommy helps us. We were not going to be able to get to my vets before they closed last night. I was a lot less nervous about going to a new vet because my friend had a very established relationship with her vets office. She put the appointment under her name and then we updated the information to me when we got there.
I have heard of it but it isn't real common here. The clinic that I use is kind of the go to for kitties in this area but I have always been able to get a kitty in on short notice. They somehow make room which means I sometimes have a longer than usual wait before seeing the vet. One of the founders of the clinic is retired but she will come in as a fill in and to help out when things start to get too crazy. When she finally completely retires then things will be different I am sure.
I snagged one heck of vet as my primary almost by accident. I have also seen this as vets get older and are not as active in their practice. Sometimes family obligations and they just want fewer patients. Vets are allowed to choose who they want to take on as clients.
It's fairly common in both animal and human practices. There comes a time when a practice is so busy that they have to stop seeing new patients or the quality of care suffers through sheer lack of hours in a day. Better to not accept a new patient than to rush through an exam and miss something. It's rough, but understandable when you think of it like that.
It is very common here for human primary care physicians. The combination of a declining number of PCP's and an aging population has put a big strain on the availability of primary care. I moved here 20 years ago and actually found a PCP through an urgent care doctor. I went to urgent care with something I should've went to a PCP for but I hadn't found one yet and the physician gave me a physician's business card. He is no longer in primary care. That one physician office morphed into a multi physician practice and is now a large care point for OSU. They are a large one stop for primary care, several specialities, physical therapy, and diagnostics. The physicians rotate in and out of primary care there and I never see the same physician that I seen the last time.
Yes, it is more and more common unless your vet is part of a large practice. I'm over 70 and my vet is over 60, and he only goes in three times a week now, Monday through Wednesday. I think his partner does the same thing, only he does Thursday through Saturday. They now have four other vets working there, one of whom is the son of my vet's partner. At least there is always someone available if it's a real emergency. They aren't refusing new clients, but my A.D.D. doctor is, and my original PCP retired about 12 years ago and moved to NYC to be with her daughter.