THIRUVANANTHAPURAM :With more people opting to adopt pets, there is an increasing shortage in the number of veterinary doctors in the city. Pet owners allege that quite a number of the existing vet doctors give priority to livestock issues, in turn leaving pets to face the brunt. Allegations are also rife that available government practitioners opt to treat livestock issues, besides conducting their own private practices, homes care and dispensaries. Lack of availability of these doctors is affecting pet care in the city, pet owners say. According to them, many of the hospitals also do not have sufficient facility or staff.
“One of the main veterinary hospitals in PMG Junction, does not have sufficient staff. It is the owners who sometimes buy the necessary items including cotton and also assist in restraining the pet. The hospital in Pettah is in dire straits. There are talks about the hospital being renovated. Many times, doctors are not available during urgent cases as they will be busy with other cases.
There is a need for more para-veterinary staff and doctors, considering the number of cases that are reported here. Even the Super Speciality Hospital in Kudappanakkunu is not fully-equipped,” said Latha Indira, secretary, People for Animals Thiruvananthapuram.
According to a dairy officer, in rural areas, the situation is worse off. Though every panchayat and a few block panchayats have a vet, many doctors are unavailable. Due to this, compounders and livestock inspectors have to do the insemination at times.
This needs to be done on a timely basis or it can affect dairy farmers. Even though one doctor would suffice for providing treatment, for comprehensive care, more doctors are necessary. Farmers raise complaints whenever their livestock is affected as a disease from one cattle can spread to other cattle,” said a dairy officer. Night care is not a luxury animals enjoy, since many of the vets are not willing to provide night service.
Though there is a concept called night vet, getting hold of them is difficult. There is one in PMG and another in Kudappanakkunu. However, the latter is in the other part of the city. “We receive many calls during the night. However, getting hold of a night doctor is really difficult,” said Latha. Another dairy farmer said getting a veterinary doctor from the government hospital to attend to an animal in the night is very tasking. If the doctor is a woman, asking them to attend a birth at the middle of the night is not practical. In other cases, mostly, the farmers try to empower and train themselves to deal with such situations,” said a diary farmer with over 50 cows.