City anchor: A clinic ‘tailored to every pet’s need’ opens in the Capital
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The Vets Now-Maneka Gandhi Pet Hospital, offering dedicated out-of-hours emergency and critical care service for pets, is functioning out of Gautam Nagar in South Delhi, with three English veterinary doctors and a nurse trained in the UK. Vets Now is also looking to collaborate with Indian vets and other staff.
"While our training includes all animals, we specialise as small animal vets. This is our first clinic outside the UK," Lizzy Knowles, a vet at the clinic, said.
Twenty-seven-year-old Knowles arrived in India three months ago with her colleagues to set up the clinic. "The past three months have gone in organising, sourcing, getting truckloads of medicines, storage, ironing out issues with the functioning of the building, power and water supply and all that it takes," Knowles said.
The clinic offers a range of services, including routine health check-up, vaccination and intensive referral cases. It has a fully equipped laboratory on the premises, offering diagnostics procedures such as digital X-Ray, ultrasound and contrast availability. The laboratory also performs haematology, biochemistry, blood gas analysis, urinalysis, microscopy, coagulation profile, pathology, antibiotic sensitivity testing, hormone assays and endocrine testing.
"We are very proud of our lab. Such specialised diagnostic service does not exist here. We also wish to grow more with the specialsed laboratory work that we offer and take work from outside as well, so other clinics can also use our machines and services," Laura Chawdaury, the nurse at the clinic, said.
The clinic provides specialised surgery for pets, including routine neutering, all types of soft tissue surgery and orthopaedic surgery.
Animal rights' activist and politician Maneka Gandhi provided the space to open the clinic, Knowles said.
"Richard Coe, one of our surgeons, was teaching surgery here and was in contact with Maneka. Coe got in touch with Richard Dixon, the founder of Vets Now, and the talks resulted in this facility here in India. Gandhi is our landlady who has a very keen interest in specialised care for pets," Knowles said.
The short-term aim of the clinic is to tide over language barriers, if any, by hiring Indian reception staff. The long-term aim includes having Indian vets on board and hiring and training veterinary graduates.
"Our staff from UK will be here on rotation. There will be two vets and one nurse from the UK at all times. If more specialised care is needed, our specialists can be flown in from the UK on a notice of 48 hours," Knowles said.
In the UK, Vets Now runs 56 clinics.