Helping Your Pet Walk Again: Dr Ayyappan Subburamanujam

Health, last updated 03rd, Jul 2014, Natasha Nundy

Ayappan Subburamanujam is a renowned name when it comes to veterinarian surgeries. This veterinarian surgeon travels to various parts of the country as a consultant surgeon and conducts surgeries to ensure that pets get their due and are able to run and play again.

Along with being a practicing veterinarian surgeon, he is also a professor in Chennai at the college of veterinary surgery. He has won admiration from all quarters i.e. fellow doctors, colleagues and his students. This is what has made this man such a success when it comes to even the most difficult of cases.


 Dr. Subburamanujam feels that treating a pet  and see them playing again is what  gives him immense happiness. He lives his life by the mantra that, 'Life is a moment  and a moment is a life'. Hence, every moment is important in life to him. 

He did a basic orthopedic course for starters and then in 1999, did a special course in  orthopedic medicine along with it. Prior to this, he did a fellowship in 1994 in Zurich. In  recent years around 2000 he also did a post graduate in veterinary medicines from  the United States. 

 Read on to find out more about Subburamanujam’s professional story as well has his  daily experiences. We talked about his everyday challenges and the issues faced by  pet owners in Chennai, heard his views on the present medical scenario in India and  all that is missing from India for pet care.


DogSpot:  How did Ayyappan Subburamanujam become a surgeon for small animals? What’s your story?

Dr Subburamanujam: I was always fond of animals. In fact it was always there in me, a love for animals. In some way my grandfather and father were responsible for this. My father was my role model as he also completed his studies in vet sciences. He was in poultry sciences in Chennai.

I chose teaching because it was very therapeutic for me. I get to be with animals, teach and impart my knowledge to follow aspirants of the veterinary sciences. Along with having my own small private practice within my residence.

DogSpot:  Where is your Clinic?  Does your college have a facility for the treatment as well?

Dr Subburamanujam: I practice from my home, which is at Kilapuk Garden Colony but most of my time is spent in the college. I work full time in there; our college provides one of the biggest veterinary medical services in the city.

It has an OPD department as well; where we get various pets that need medical care and attention. We have a multi-specialty hospital for pets that is fully functional. So, whatever ailment your pet has they are in safe hands when they come to the hospital.

DogSpot:  What kind of routine treatment do you carry out on a regular basis?

Dr Subburamanujam: I am an orthopedic surgeon for small animals, so I repair a lot of fractures in cats, dogs and other small animals. Along with it I perform joint surgery for mostly dogs.

I get a lot of hit and run cases in the hospital with pets that need immediate medical attention. They are not only restricted to the stray dogs but there are a lot of other cases of household pets also who have accidentally wandered and have been hit.

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 Subburamanujam: I perform a lot of surgeries and it gives me immense happiness to see that the pets not only survive accidents but also lead a healthy and happy life.  Though, there is this particular case that I remember for which I was called to Delhi.

There was a dog that met with an accident and broke his back and the pet parents were told that he had to be put to sleep. It was a mongrel and the family was really close to the pet and they did not want to put him to sleep. The pet was hit by vehicle; a surgery in ideal circumstances has to be performed within two days to avoid any irrepairable damage. It was already four to five days since the accident  when I was called.

Once I reached Delhi, I told them that I could try and not promise survival. It was a long operation procedure that followed in which we put screws on the back of the dog to ensure survival. I am really happy today as after some time into rehabilitation. The dog is back to walking on the four limbs and it has been already one year since the accident. Though, it was not only my effort but they pet parents were absolutely wonderful.

DogSpot:   What kind of pets do you get in the clinic?

Dr Subburamanujam: I get various different kinds of pets; I treat cats, dogs, exotic birds and even hamsters. Though, my common patients still remain to be German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Spitzs, Dachshunds and Doberman Pinschers. In fact, I get a lot of mongrels also.


DogSpot: How do you see the animal medicine in India? What improvements do you want to see in the coming years?

Dr Subburamanujam: The animal medicine in India is improving though there is a long way to go still. In certain aspects there has been a improvement. The improvements are more visible in the major cities and towns. Though, the smaller ones are still catching up. Internet has opened up a lot of avenues for  people.
At present we do not have a set-up do deal with complex issues in every city that has to be improved. We have to set standards to ensure all round improvement in the infrastructure of the medicine scenario in India.

DogSpot: How has pet keeping changed in the recent years?

Dr Subburamanujam: Pet Keeping has changed and is still changing, people have started keeping small animals and there has been growing interest in mongrels and street dogs. There has been awareness developed by the animal welfare coming into use.
I have been practicing for 25years and there has been a change in the way we perform surgeries also now. Now if the dog has a spine injury and breaks its back we don’t need it to put to sleep now. It can be fixed with the help of plates on the back and the dog is able to walk also.
Owners are also more aware now; they not only love their pets but want a lot of things for them also. They are willing to go to any lengths for their pets and they have become more of companions to people now.

DogSpot: What all changes do you aim to see in the coming years?

Dr Subburamanujam: I will like to see better infrastructure coming in the cities to deal with various pet problems. There are not many facilities to get tests for your pets.  Along with it we need to get specialized people who can not only conduct tests like MRIs but read it accurately as well. I would like to see more corporates getting into this sector.

DogSpot:Any message that you will like to our readers?

Dr Subburamanujam: I would request people to know their vet. If the problem in not getting resolved with a few days then please move on to a specialist. It might be that your pet needs specialized care.
We would love to hear your reviews about our featured vet as well as opinions on the future of veterinary medicine in India. 

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