Pet Surgeon Who Saves Lives & Builds A Bond That Lasts: Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty [Interview]
30 May 2014
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Kolkata is known for people who are passionate about pet keeping. The City of Joy welcomes every pet into their home with open arms. When there is so much love for the pets, it just becomes a little tougher for veterinarians like Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty to go about with their daily work. When people start developing bonds with their pets they expect the same from their veterinarian. This is what Dr Chandrakanta Chakraborty does every day, he tries to prove his mettle and not disappoint any pet owner with his diagnosis and treatment.
Chandrakanta always keeps pets at the forefront and helps people even after his regular clinic hours this is one of the prime reasons that he is such a favourite with his patients both the pets as well as their parents. If you have a pet that is sick and needs clinical attention then this kind doctor will even make a home visit to provide him or her the required necessary medical assistance as soon as possible.
Read on to find out more about Chandrakanta’s professional story as well has his daily experiences. Read about his everyday challenges and the issues faced by pet owners in Kolkata and his own plans for his clinic and the present medical scenario in India.
DogSpot: How did Chandrakanta Chakroborty become a surgeon for small animals? What’s your story?
Dr Chakroborty: I was always fond of pets and used to feed street dogs near my home when I was home. I never had a pet but always had a penchant for the same. I did my schooling from West Bengal and it was my aim to study veterinary sciences. Most of my batch mates studied the same to get a government job in Animal Husbandry but I wanted to start my own private practice right from the beginning only.
I specialized in surgery and radiology for small animals to help pets and to be able to assist in the correct diagnosis of their ailment. The other thing that I did after I became a canin practioner was to adopt a puppy. According to me it is very important for a veterinarian to have a pet to understand the emotions of pet owners. I adopted a dog from the streets and he lived to a ripe age of 15years.
DogSpot: Where is your Clinic? What services do you offer at the moment and do you have any expansion plans?
Dr Chakroborty: My clinic ‘Cats and Dogs’ is located in Serampore and I even consult in some clinics within in Kolkata. My clinic is complete stop for all pet owners. I have a small retail store within the clinic that provides the necessary items to the pet owners to ensure hassle free pet keeping.
At the moment I have tied up with three pathological clinics that help us to conduct the required pathological tests that assist us to the correct diagnosis. This is much required as there are not many places in Kolkata that offer such services. I want to expand my clinic Cats and Dogs across the city and will very soon set up a pathological and radiology laboratory for pets within my own clinic. This will not only help the pet owners but will be a blessing for the pets as well.
DogSpot: What kind of clientele do you get in your clinic and which are the common pets that you treat?
Dr Chakroborty: I get clients from various genres within the city. There is a good mix of clients, when it comes to pets even today most of the people have dogs as their pets. Though, there is an increase in the number of cats and birds as well as well in the recent years.
DogSpot: You would have seen many pets and pet owners through difficult times? Is there some case that you will like to share with us?
Dr Chakroborty: I see a lot of pets on an everyday basis. One of the most common diseases in pets that I encounter and provide treatment is for skin infections. One of the prime reasons for this is the pollution in this area, which gives rise to various allergies. There are times that this develops into a chronic infection due to the lack of timely medications or stopping the treatment abruptly.
I have treated a lot of pets and some of them were brought to me when the condition of the pet was critical but one of the cases that I can recall from the top of my head is of a German Shepherd who suddenly had a profuse nose bleeding. It started all of a sudden and lasted for almost six to seven hours. In fact by the time the dog was brought to me he had lost a lot of blood and if the bleeding was not stopped the survival chances of the dog would have been very slim.
I had to give him a lot of intravenous fluid, hemostatic drugs used as systemic &local ones, corticosteroid, antibiotics and by some physical methods like application of ice and putting some mechanical pressure over the bleeding surface that it stopped. In most of the other cases it stops with a few medicines only.
Other than this there was a Labrador that was prone to epileptic seizures where phenobarbitone had failed to gather response( a drug generally used for such cases), I had to give Gabapentin tablet orally to the pet. It was a very difficult case but I am happy that the Labrador is leading a healthy and hearty life even today.
DogSpot: What kind of pets do you get in the clinic?
As I mentioned earlier I get a lot of dogs to my clinic. The most common breeds being
, Spitz and Cocker Spaniels. The other good thing that I have observed these days is that there is an increase in the number of people who want to adopt a dog from the streets rather than a pedigree dog.
There has also been an increase in the number of people keeping rabbits as pets. There are a lot of my clients who cannot keep a dog in the apartments so they opt for a rabbit as a pet.
DogSpot: How do you see the animal medicine in India? What improvements do you want to see in the coming years?
Dr Chakroborty: Animal medicine is still in its infancy in India. There have been a lot of improvements made but we are still far behind when it comes to medicines when compared with our American and European counterparts. Then there is another problem in the country that though most of the veterinarians have knowledge about the medicines, there is lack of information when it comes to the appropriate dosages.
I know of a lot of cases where the veterinarians have recommended human medicines in case of an emergency, this may not be the right way to deal with the issue but there are times when there is not much options available to us because of lack of medicines. This has to change.
DogSpot: How has pet keeping changed in the recent years?
Dr Chakroborty: Pet keeping has seen a vast amount of change in the recent years. In fact if I recall post 2000 there has been a vast increase in the number of people keeping pets. In earlier times pet keeping was restricted to people from high status families only. Today the number of pets is increasing as the number of animal lovers is also increasing on an everyday basis.
The young generation especially the age group of 18 to 35 has started developing a bond with their pets, they are more attached to them emotionally. In fact I get a lot of pets who ensure that the name on the vaccination on the card carries their surname.
DogSpot: What all changes do you aim to see in the coming years?
Dr Chakroborty: I think that in the coming years there will be a lot more awareness among people, the number of animal lovers will increase. The one thing that I wish to see in the coming years is developing more dog parks within the cities. There is an absolute dearth of them at present. I also feel that there will be a lot of private veterinary hospitals coming up in the metropolitan city that will be equipped with all the clinical facilities just as in the case of humans.
DogSpot: What message will you like to give our reader?
Dr Chakroborty: The one thing that I would like to tell the readers is to follow the science. Follow the advancements. Learned professionals are always there to update you. Shrug off the awkward fears & misconceptions regarding the keeping of pets.