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Easing animal pain butters my bread

With great passion and love for animals, Martin Isanda, a veterinary practitioner in Kisumu, has opened a new berth on how farmers and pet owners access medical care for their animals

Roberto Muyela @PeopleDailyKE

A dog lies on his hind legs and puts its front paws on the examination table as Martin Isanda gently fondles it in the neck. It is clear that the dog is sick by the look of its raised furs and sad look. He is in the consultation room at Victoria Vertinary Services, an animal clinic in Kisumu town.

Isanda, the owner of the clinic, has devoted his medical career into protection of animals and his core aim is providing relief to animal suffering, an undertaking he says, fires-up joy in his life.

A veterinary surgeon, Isanda has invested into medicine, medical equipment and several rooms. The clinic has the capacity to treat all complications in animals such as fevers, flu and broken limbs.

“We have highly skilled veterinary doctors who treat al kinds of pet illnesses and even take them to the operating table when need arises,” he says. He brought his veterinary services to the community after witnessing a lot of suffering of animals and owners could not treat them by themselves.

With over 25 years into this noble cause, Isanda has been able to save thousands of animals lives. “However, he is concerned that animal suffering has not been fully mitigated.

For instance, stray dogs are still being roughed up, beaten and even killed by people who want to eliminate them claiming they are responsible for the spread of rabies,” explains the vet. Some animals are not safe even in the hands of their owners.

“In my practice, I have dealt with a section of animal owners who expose them to cruel conditions including starvation, lack of medication when they fall sick, overworking and lack of shelter. Isanda further mentions the unmentionable; he has handled cases of pets, which have been abused sexually.

“The animals cannot speak out about their plight, but bestiality is real and the cases have been going unaddressed albeit being unlawful,” he reveals. As a result, Isanda says there is the risk of transmission of Zoonotic Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) to human beings.

At the private facility, the veterinary officer also provides dietary advice, medication, surgery, vaccination, grooming and medical check-ups, among other services.

Unfortunately, he discloses that his venture has only been embraced mostly by affluent communities such as businessmen, foreign missionaries, European and Asian residents at the lakeside city.

Locals hardly bring their animals to the clinic as the practice has been stereotyped to be for the rich, while others think that it is a waste of finances treating a sick animal.

“Animals too have a right to decent treatment when they fall sick, lest they die and become extinct,” says Isanda. Also of utmost concern, the vet intimates that they are witnessing an upsurge in lifestyle-related diseases in dogs and cats such as cancers and diabetes.

He attributes this to pet owners feeding their animals junk food such as fries, sweets, biscuits and cakes, which have also been blamed to cause the same ailments in humans.

To help mitigate this issue, the facility provides its clients with dietary information besides giving medication for the ailments. Postmortem services are also offered by the medic to clientele who want to unearth the cause of death in case their animals succumb to unclear circumstances.

The animal clinic is also playing a pivotal role in controlling the population of dogs among other pets as it carries out sterilisation and castration procedures to male dogs at Sh3,000.

To have your pet given a smart shave and its skin well-polished, a client will pay up to Sh5,000 or more depending on the size of the animal and also the preference of the owner.

Bathing of pets is charged at Sh500 per session. Consultations are charges at Sh1,000 and laboratory tests cost from Sh300 up to Sh10,000 depending on the nature of disease being diagnosed.

Teeth extraction and cleaning are also among other services offered at Victoria Veterinary Services and those who want additional services like nail clipping and pedicure can still benefit as the facility is fully equipped to undertake the exercise.

“Clients who have state-of-the-art furniture and are keen not to let their pets’ nails overgrow lest they start scratching their chairs and engraving ugly marks on their fittings, we offer a solution to that,” states Isanda.

He is currently expediting the process of stepping up the infrastructure in his facility, and he has already constructed a storied building to provide more examination areas.

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