Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services is building a new clinic to accommodate the growth of Marton.
Practice manager Dave Barton said the new premises would replace its current ageing Marton clinic.
The new clinic, which is being built on Wellington Rd, will house two surgeries and a larger number of kennels.
“For any significant surgery people have to bring their animals through to Bulls for everything, so we thought at some stage we’re going to have to do something about it.
“As Marton grows we’ll be able to cope with the potential workload.”
He said there would be farm vets working from both the Marton and Bulls clinics.
“It’s pretty cool to see the things that are going on up in Marton at the moment. I think there are three proper subdivisions.”
The demand for vet services hadn’t significantly increased but they were looking ahead, he said.
“We do everything, we do the horses, farm work and small animals, but it’s pretty split between the three.”
He said business had been tough due to the short supply of vets worldwide.
“We’re all okay at the moment and that’s under control, but we don’t want to have all these facilities and no one to man them.
“There’s still a lot of practices around New Zealand that are struggling to fill places and they need staff.”
The initial reason for the vet shortage was the difficulty for workers coming to New Zealand due to Covid, he said.
“In the past we’ve had lots of vets that travel through New Zealand doing stints, it might be for a few years here and there, and it’s always fixed up our shortage.”
The Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services opened in the 1950s after integrating the Marton and Bulls vet clubs.
Barton has held his role as manager of the practice for four years.
He said there were different needs now as far as small animals were concerned.
“Particularly with small animals, they’re now much more seen as part of the family, and people will do a lot more work on sick animals than what they would have done 10 years ago.
“We hope that continues.”
The surgeries were more complex and people would go a lot further investigating what the problem was, he said.
“In the past people would have just taken the other option, so there’s a lot more involved and it’s more demanding than what it used to be because those expectations are changing so much.”
Eva de Jong is a reporter for the Whanganui Chronicle covering health stories and general news. She began as a reporter in 2023.