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Nationwide medicine shortage impacting pets, livestock in Southeast Texas

Dr. Rusty Hall with the Riceland Veterinary Clinic in Nome says this shortage has even lead to the death of over a dozen animals in Southeast Texas.

NOME, Texas — A nationwide medicine shortage impacted a supply in children's cold medicine back in December and now it's affecting animals.

Dr. Rusty Hall with Riceland Veterinary Clinic in Nome has been treating animals both big and small for more than 40 years.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic, he says his job has gotten harder due to four major medicines being in short supply.

"We get too many of our products from China and India that are not being made in the U.S. I think is that is the biggest part of the problem," Hall said. 

Hall says this shortage has even lead to the death of over a dozen animals in Southeast Texas.

The shortage impacted cattle and goats that need tetanus and other vaccines.  

"We've had some calves like 16 of them die in one place that were castrated and you couldn't buy tetanus," Hall said. 

Cats and dogs could also be missing out on antibiotics and heartworm medicine due to the shortage.

However, Dr. Hall has suggested ranchers and pet owners use generic brands.

Rancher Journey Hamilton says she had to use similar medications to replace her usual ones because they weren't in stock or they couldn't get enough of a specific brand. 

Other ranchers like Kennedy Evans agree a delay in vaccines means a delay in production and profits.

“A lot of people are having calves right now. So, they aren't getting that immunity and that can put you at greater risk and we want to eventually sell these calves,” said Evans.

Dr. Hall said starting in June, the Food and Drug Administration will be requiring ranchers to buy antibiotics straight from their vets instead of over the counter. 

However, Hall believes it will not have any impact on the medicine shortage

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