Taking sips of water at intervals, Lolo looked weak on the chair. Monisha Paul was anxiously sitting beside this 4-month old Persian cat who has been suffering from a urine problem. She and her friend were trying to ensure that the poor thing was comfortable.
In the reception-cum-waiting room at Teaching and Training Pet Hospital and Research Centre, poor Lolo was waiting for its turn to the doctor.
This pet hospital, with advanced technology and a dedicated team of doctors and supporting staff, is situated at Plot 5B, Sector 18, Road 114, Purbachal Newtown.
Besides providing medical services, this institution has paved the way for the upcoming veterinary professionals to be skilled through practical and research work.
Nasir Uddin Faruque came out of the doctor's chamber with his cat Fiona—suffering from acidity and skin problems. After some primary medication Fiona was returning home. The skin treatment would start a few weeks later when the acidity subsides. "I am a little bit relieved now," said Faruque, even though he would have to bring Fiona back in here.
Pet owners, like Monisha and Faruque, are on a rise in the city. Be it the love for animals or be it a relief from urban-social anxiety and toxicity, people are taking an emotional shelter in their pets. And when these sources of happiness get sick, the owners feel low. Thus, in recent years, pet lovers are taking initiatives to keep the animals healthy and happy.
This pet hospital is an initiative like that. One can see the animal friendly atmosphere here as Licy and Viru, two pet dogs, were running in and out of their room, trying to establish friendship with people and pets regardless.
To reach this first ever pet hospital, managed by the Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU), one has to be prepared for a long journey than usual.
Reaching Kuril Bishwa Road, it's easy to get a CNG or a bus to Neela Market through the Purbachal 300 feet road. From there, an auto rickshaw is worth it as the zigzag roads full of greeneries on both sides would give one quite the view.
With polished white walls and a blue gate, the hospital can easily be recognised as a new one as the building was erected last year only, starting its journey on October 28, 2018.
Starting from then, five skilled veterinary doctors, three dressers and one animal attendant, 29 members in total, have been treating pet animals, with special care, both from Dhaka city and different corners of the country.
Mizanur Rahman works as a cleaner in the hospital who was playing with Viru and Licy joyfully in the field in front of the hospital. He said, "They are here from the very beginning. Besides my regular work, I bathe and feed them. They are like my friends."
It is needless to say how affectionate Mizanur is with the animals. Just like him, all the staff are warm and friendly with the pet patients.
Crossing the small but wide and well organised reception room, the main hospital consists of one examination room, one lab room, a radiology unit and an operation theatre all adjoining to a long balcony. All these units are equipped with technological diagnostic devices and machines. There are two other small establishments in this 21-acre land used for miscellaneous purposes.
Pet owners can start the primary treatment started registering with Tk 200 only. Every day, more than 20-25 pets come here to take treatment. With a high number of cats, they also get dogs, birds, guinea pigs, monkeys, mongoose etc. They treat rescued animals too. Till now, 2,330 pets have been registered for treatment.
Dr. Abdul Mannan, deputy chief veterinary officer at this institute, said, "Most of the pet owners come here for routine check-up. Except this, they come for sterilisation, de-warming vaccination, digestive problems, tumour in prostate gland, cardiac problems etc. Rescued animals most of the time come with multiple wounds, starvation and infections."
"After the physical examination, the animal goes through biochemical examination, X-ray and other diagnosis processes if required. Medication is prescribed based on the diagnosis afterwards," added Mr. Mannan.
Professor Doctor Nitish Chandra Debnath, the director of Teaching & Training Pet Hospital and Research Center at CVASU said, "The number of people having pets has increased in recent years. Besides, an institution to ensure higher education and research work in this sector paves the way for the current students. Both these demands come to execution in the hospital and research centre."
Keeping the demand of some pet owners to have inpatient services for pets which require a hospital stay, planning for a 10-storey hospital building is going on in full swing. It would be identical to that of a hospital for humans. There would also be more advanced facilities which will ensure remarkable progress in this sector, according to Mr. Nitish.