Chhimi Dema  

The National Veterinary Hospital (NVH) in Thimphu during the lockdown provided  about 400 clinical veterinary services.

Some of the cases they received were abscesses-pocket of pus, choke, eczema, prolonged anorexia, poisoning, gastroenteritis, vehicular trauma, renal disease or kidney failure and nutritional deficiency, among others.

NVH’s head and animal health specialist, Dr Kinley Dorji, said that the hospital mostly attended emergency cases during the lockdown. “Emergency cases are those needing urgent medical intervention.

Otherwise, there is the risk of loss of life or deterioration of health at later stages.”

Dr Kinley Dorji said that the hospital received about 12 cases in a day. “The number of cases was low compared to normal days since other services were suspended and movement was restricted.”

The hospital receives about 70-80 cases for services such as vaccination, deworming, pet registration, sterilisation and general health check-up in other days.

During the lockdown, the hospital provided 214 ambulance services to pick and drop the clients and delivered medicines to 109 clients.

The hospital provided services from 9am-9 pm.

Dr Kinley Dorji said that hospital could also attend the emergency services received on the hospital’s Facebook page and landline number beyond the service timing.

The hospital also contacted pharmacies on behalf of the clients to purchases medicines which were not available in the hospital.

“Tele-consultations over the phone and through the hospital’s official Facebook messenger were provided. The teleconsultations were made available even beyond the normal schedule as much as possible,” said Dr Kinley Dorji.

The hospital provided 270 teleconsultations, excluding the general queries and calls received at the hospital’s reception.

Dr Kinley Dorji said that the hospital did not encounter any major challenge while delivering critical veterinary services.  “This could be attributed to the fact that contingency plans including working modalities and standard Operation Procedures on critical veterinary services during times like the current lockdown were developed well before the first lockdown.”

During the lockdown, six officials were stationed in the hospital comprising a veterinarian, laboratory technician, ambulance driver, animal attendant and two para-veterinary professionals.

There are 14,303 pets (dogs and cats) registered with NVH today since 2008.