The hospital will also serve as an advanced referral-training centre for veterinary officials

DoL:  With in-patient facilities and operational round the clock, Bhutan’s veterinary hospital is expected to be the ‘state of the art’ when its construction completes in two years.

Department of livestock’s Director General Dr Tashi Samdup said the hospital will be fully equipped with facilities such as radiology, endoscopy, neurology and ultrasound.  It will also have a full-fledged clinical diagnostic facility.

A grooming facility to bathe, brush and nail cutting among others will also be put in place along with electrical stimulation and laser therapy for neuro-muscular diseases.

In its three wards, at least 100 animals will be accommodated at a time, in cages, as in-patients. The hospital will however only cater to small animals such as pets.

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graced the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Animal Hospital in Motithang on July 20.

Chief veterinary officer, Dr Kinley Dorji said the hospital is established to provide service to those who own pets.

“Pet culture in the country is picking up fast and at least 800 new pets are registered each year in Thimphu alone,” he said. “It is important that pets are given better health care.”

There are about 5,000-registered pets (dogs and cats) in Thimphu today. While there are district veterinary hospitals for other animals such as cow and horses, health facilities for pets were least available.

Besides pets, the hospital will also look after the health of stray dogs.

Dr Tashi Samdup explained that the animal hospital would serve as an advanced referral-training centre for veterinary officials.

“Gradually, we’ll begin strengthening the capacity of district veterinary hospitals,” he said adding that a city animal hospital in Phuntsholing is also nearing completion.  For the high cases of zoonotic and trans-boundary diseases, similar hospitals for Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar are being planned.

On completion, the hospital would require at least five additional veterinary doctors, 12 para-vets, for which livestock department will consult the Royal Civil Service Commission.

The Government of India is funding the construction with a budget of Nu 46M. The three-storied hospital, constructed at an area of 43 decimals, is dedicated to His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 60th Birth Anniversary celebration.

By Nirmala Pokhrel