An article in a digital publication states that the pet industry in India has seen a whopping growth of approximately 35% in the last year. If this claim is accurate, a pertinent question has to be asked and answered: Have medical facilities and their underlying infrastructure grown sufficiently to cope with this boom? What happens when a pet parent experiences a medical emergency at night? The answer is extremely disturbing.
The government veterinary college and hospital located in Belgachia, Kolkata, is the only medical establishment that is open 24 hours. Pet owners living in the suburbs and neighbouring towns do not have access to even the most basic of medical facilities, much less round-the-clock access to doctors. A caller from Haldia reported that the one veterinarian she had been able to locate in her city was only available once a week for a couple of hours.
Statistics released by Advanced Pet Care related to the first month of its operations indicates an alarming scenario. Of the 106 cases received at the hospital, more than 85% of the patients were brought into Emergency in the middle of the night. 96 patients were successfully treated and released but there were 8 fatalities and 2 patients were brought in dead on arrival.
This series of narratives are based on the unique, real-life experiences of two individuals from a non-medical background who recently launched Advanced Pet Care, a 24 x 7 medical facility for pets in Kolkata.
In general, the pet health industry tends to share heartwarming stories of hard-won battles and miraculous recoveries; the duo behind Advanced Pet Care state that they have no intention of discussing their successes because they believe it is the duty of a medical unit to deliver sustainable health care to its patients. Rather, they prefer to introspect on their failures and determine what role, if any, the hospital can play in improving the overall standard of veterinary care available in the city.
The Advanced Pet Care team will continue to share their experiences and observations in future editions of this blog. What you, the reader, take away from these stories is up to you.