Tamil Nadu

A go-to place to save animals in their golden hour

Getting a fixA Doberman receiving treatment at the Critical Care Unit of the Madras Veterinary College.V. GanesanV_GANESAN  

Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity in the critical care unit of the Madras Veterinary College on Tuesday. Veterinarians attending to sick animals rushed to the table where a cat called Bolie lay unconscious. What followed next resembled a scene out of a thriller. The doctors pressed Bolie’s chest continuously, performing what is known as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In a minute, the cat’s eyes opened, bringing tears to the owner’s eyes.

“A chicken bone punctured the cat’s intestine four days ago. Brought for regular outpatient treatment, the animal turned critical after a barium meal was given for a contrast X-ray,” explained Dr. M. Balagangadhara Thilagar, Assistant Professor, Centre for Advanced Faculty Training in Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS).

The vets used a cat-friendly endotracheal tube for the aspiration procedure. “The animal is doing well now,” said Dr. Thilagar, who was sent by the University to train under the renowned critical care specialist, Matthew W. Beal, at the Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Best of its kind

The Centre is a brainchild of Dr. S. Prathapan, head of the Centre of Advanced Faculty Training, TANUVAS, who launched it with funding from the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).

“It is meant for experiential learning. The centre works through out the day, and students who work at the centre are paid 50% of the treatment fee by pet owners. The intention is to help them earn as they learn,” said Dr. Prathapan. He added that a student could earn between Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month.

The air-conditioned unit has a defibrillator, a nebuliser, a dialysis machine, an oxygen concentrator and a mini lab for quick blood analysis.

Restly, an aged Doberman who underwent surgery for urinary stones and suffered from uremic encephalopathy, caused by acute renal failure, is also being treated there.

“We are the only critical care unit CCU) with all modern equipment in the country. Experts in all fields will be available, and we have provided them [housing] quarters to ensure their presence during critical moments,” said Dr. R. Jayaprakash, Director of Clinics, TANUVAS, who explained that Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is a life-threatening condition in dogs and they have to be operated upon within six hours.

The CCU also saved a cat with its lungs punctured by its chest bone in an accident.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:50:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-goto-place-to-save-animals-in-their-golden-hour/article17451206.ece

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