Hippocratic Pet Oath in Vietnam?

9 03 2011
Saigon Pet Vietnam

Saigon Pet Vietnam- Best Veterinarian Clinic in Vietnam

IN DOG WE TRUST- A VETERINARIAN’S OATH

Do veterinarians take the hippocratic oath? No. But they do take something called the Veterinarian Oath. Veterinarians like Dr. Nghia of Saigon Pet Clinic have taken the following oath: I solemnly swear that I will use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society.I will strive to promote animal health and welfare, relieve animal suffering, protect the health of the public and environment, and advance comparative medical knowledge.I will practise my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.I will strive continuously to improve my professional knowledge and competence and to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards for myself and the profession.”

ONLY HUMAN

People, please listen up… there are times when a veterinarian cannot save the life of your beloved pet. No matter how much they try, how much they live up to the “Veterinarian’s Oath”, veterinarians often lose their patients. It is part of the natural life death dance. And the fact that veterinarians are mortal… human. The vets I know and have worked with, the ones that truly love animals like Dr. Nghia, a veterinarian in Saigon, are heartbroken after trying everything to save them. Truly devastated.  They empathize with their patients and often cry alongside the pet owners.

DID YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR PET THE BEST YOU COULD?

What’s often unfair is when a patient blames a veterinarian for the loss of their pet, as if the veterinarian purposely ignored “The Oath”. There was a recent case where a pet owner placed full blame on the veterinarian even though the dog had cancer for years and had a visible tumor growth on its side. When asked, “why did you not bring your dog in sooner?”, the answer, “I still wanted to breed the dog!” Where is the responsible pet accountability here? How about being more responsible about the health of your dog or cat? If you take your dog in with Stage 5 cancer, please don’t expect a miracle. Wake up people, if you take better care of your pets and don’t wait until your pet’s on death’s doorstep to seek help then please remember you may be pointing one finger at the vet, but there’s three fingers pointing back at you!

DOG GONE WRONG BEHAVIOR

What I find appalling here in Vietnam is that some pet owners actually demand a large settlement if a veterinarian cannot save the life of their dog or cat. Imagine storming into your vet’s clinic back home with all your family members (minus the pitchforks) and demanding the clinic pay, “or the vet will pay”… seriously??? While I am on the subject of wrongful behavior, these same people demanding a big settlement were the same people bargaining down the dog’s operation as if they were haggling over a bag of mangosteens at Ben Tanh market. So let me get this straight, your dog is not worth the operation but becomes priceless and requires some kind of “wrongful death payment” upon its passing? Incredible!

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

I know Vietnam is still a very young pet culture. The concept of veterinarians is as strange as Heinz ketchup next to the nuoc mam sauce. But, good veterinarians are hard to find in Vietnam. Especially ones trained in small companion animal medicine. So don’t be surprised that a visit to a a top qualified vet in Saigon or Hanoi will cost more than those dingy, sketchy “thầy thuốc thú y” you see next to a pho stand or xe-om repair shop.

SAIGON PET CLINIC

All veterinarians are human, they cannot always save the life of your beloved pet. James Herriot said it best, “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child they are, that we will be kind and take care of their needs.. (They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no right to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty.” Or ignorance!

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2011- Eating Cat in the Year of the Cat!

8 03 2011

 

Vietnam Year of the Cat

"Toi khong vui. Toi la meo!"

 

MMM…. FANCY FELINE FEAST!!!

2011 has started off as a good year for many… unless you are a cat!  Unfortunately, because the cat is the zodiac celebrity of the year, many Vietnamese have increased their consumption of cats. Like eating dog meat, cat meat is considered a part of the country’s traditional cuisine. Groups of men (more so than women), seated on mats spend their evenings sharing plates of dog/cat meat and drinking alcohol since the meat is believed to raise libido. It is also said to bring luck and good fortune. Some restaurants in Hai Phong and Ha Long Bay even advertise cat meat hot pot as “little tiger”, and cats in cages can be seen meowing away in their cramped and filthy cages. However, Vietnamese aren’t the only ones eating man’s best friend or furry feline, some visitors to the country also enjoy the novelty of tasting and saying, “I’ve eaten a dog!” or “I’ve just ate Garfield!”

Thit Cho/ Thit Cay/ Thit Meo Nha Hang O Saigon

 

DOG:COW… SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT.

As a vegetarian, I don’t see the difference between eating a dog and eating a cow, both are meat. Although I was raised in a culture where we revere dogs and cats not eat them, I find it hypocritical to condemn a culture that eats dog as meat but not a culture that eats lamb, pigs, and other animals. HOWEVER, what I do vehemently object to is the way the dogs and cats are killed in Vietnam and other parts of Asia. As an animal rights activist and member of A.R.C. Vietnam (www.arcpets.com), I whole-heartedly object to the brutal manner in which dogs and cats are slaughtered. It is sadistic and very Dahmer-ish.

 

BRUTAL TORTURE OF CATS & DOGS

While in some cultures like Vietnam, the consumption of dog and cat meat may be seen as traditional or beneficial for health, I do NOT believe these arguments can justify animal cruelty. In Vietnam, cats and dogs are tortured and teased for a length of time before finally being killed. Whether a captured stray or a farmed dog/cat, many marketplace slaughter methods are deliberately designed to intensify and prolong the animal’s suffering. This is the result of a misguided belief that torturing an animal prior to death results in better tasting, adrenaline-rich meat. Killing methods include clubbing to death, throat-slitting, hanging by the neck and electrocution.

CURIOSITY DIDN’T KILL THE CAT, MR. NGUEYN DID!

The good news is that recent Vietnamese opinion polls – where animal welfare is a relatively new concept – suggest that the consumption of dogs and cats is losing popularity, especially with the younger generation. Although the consumption of cats is on the rise this year, the big picture suggests that eating dogs and cats is slowly beginning to decline as Vietnam clamors to become an international country and aspires to rise to first-world standards.  Fortunately, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon!

Dead Cats

"Meo Chet!"

Cat Meat

"Me-ow.... Me-owwww!"





BEWARE of PET MARKET D10- HCMC VIETNAM

2 03 2011
District 10- Pet Market

DO NOT BUY pet from District 10

 

DEAD DOG WALKING

Looking to buy a pure-breed dog or cat? Avoid District 10 in Ho Chi Minh City at ALL costs! 90% of pets bought at this market end up dead. Why? Uneducated and greedy breeders simply looking for a quick profit. Puppies and kittens are NOT vaccinated, not given water and left in the sun all day. Animals that appear to be sick are given shots of steroid to boost their activity level (steroid suppresses immune systems, making it much easier for animals to contract an illness). Those puppies and kittens that are too ill to be sold are thrown into a plastic bag and dumped in the trash. When veterinarian, Dr. Nghia of Saigon Pet approached breeders in D10 with an affordable vaccine program they cursed and chased him away. The stench of ignorance and greed at this pet market is greater than the waste product of the animals.

ONE SICK PUPPY!

As I walked among the wire cages, set out under Saigon’s blazing sun, I couldn’t help but notice how weak and sick the puppies appeared. When I bent down for closer inspection, the breeder jabbed the puppy with a stick to make it seem more alert. When a potential buyer inquired after a small Dalmatian in the cage, the breeder grabbed the dog by one leg and lifted the yelping puppy from its wire prison. There seems to be little one can do to stop the suffering and pain these animals endure. Aside from not buying and fueling the demand for these pets, there is little recourse. ARC Vietnam is currently looking into the matter to see what they can do to help. Initial thinking is to offer vaccines for a lower cost. Currently, basic combo vaccines start at 300,000 ($15USD). A puppy at 400,000 ($20USD). Clearly, vaccinations cut into the breeder’s bottom-line.

DOGNAPPING, A COMMON PETTY CRIME IN SAIGON

Not only is D10 a deplorable pet market, but a market to find stolen pets. On approach, I was asked if I wanted to buy a pet or if I was looking for a kidnapped pet. I played along and said I was looking for Lucy, my white-long haired Turkish Angora. I described the cat in great detail. A woman sitting nearby quickly jumped up from her plastic chair and said, “yes we have. we found your cat in Thao Dien!” The woman disappeared for about twenty minutes and returned with a white-haired cat. “Here your cat!” What she didn’t know is that I do not own cats. Her ruse was pathetic. I wondered who the cat truly belonged to! Sadly, as Vietnam continues to emerge and grow, so will the demand for pets. Irresponsible and abhorrent breeders will continue treating animals in a disgusting and inhumane manner if nothing is done to stop. Government support of ARC’s education and low-cost vaccine initiatives might be the only thing that will change these death row dog and cat breeders.

Dying Puppies in District 10

Dying Puppies in D10 Pet Market

Sick and dying kittens

Dying kittens in D10 Pet Market, HCMC





The Best Veterinarians in Vietnam?

15 02 2011

GUIDELINES TO SELECTING A VETERINARIAN IN SAIGON:

Dr. Nghia with client

BECOME A VETERINARIAN IN ONLY SIX-MONTHS!

Did you know that anyone can become a licensed veterinarian in Vietnam in only 6 short months! In other countries, it takes anywhere from 5-8 years to become a certified, licensed veterinarian. But in Vietnam anyone can start practicing in a very short time. Sure, the Universities offer 2-5 year programs but many take the easy and shorter route to becoming an “animal doctor”. In addition to the short time it can take to receive a “diploma”, not one course at the Universities focus on teaching health and treatment of small breed animals (i.e., dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, etc.). All courses are geared to teaching large animal care, those animals found on farms. The main focus of the schools is to teach animal husbandry, the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock. Students walk away knowing how to neuter, raise and slaughter livestock.

ALL ANIMALS GREAT BUT NOT SMALL

The frightening reality is that these students turned vets are using the same practice and medicine to treat small animals. The philosophy: Same-same. As a result, many small breed animals have been misdiagnosed and also overdosed. There is a growing number of cases especially in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where small pets are killed due to the lack of knowledge of the vet. Imagine using the same dose of medicine you would use for a cow that you would use on a fox terrier. Or worse, using a medicine designed ONLY for large breed animals. Tragic Example Click Here The motivation for becoming a veterinarian in Vietnam is vastly different then other countries. When asked, why do you want to become a veterinarian, 90% of the students respond, “because of the money” or “because it is an easy science”. Only 10% respond, “because I love animals”. When looking for a veterinarian for your pet in Vietnam, here are some simple guidelines to follow:

1. RESEARCH THE VETERINARIAN.

Nowadays it is easy to get information on a vet by doing a Google search. Just type in the vet’s name or clinic’s name and see what people are saying about that person or place. Is it good? Is it bad? Check out Facebook. Does the vet have a Fan Page? Or is the vet affiliated with any animal rescue programs? In addition, visit Expat forums like So Saigon or The New Hanoian and read the reviews people have posted on a particular vet or clinic. Beware of Vet Posting Lastly, ask your neighbors who may have pets, word of mouth is usually quite reliable.

2. IS YOUR VET CERTIFIED FOR SMALL BREED ANIMALS?? Many students bypass the rigorous entrance exams in Vietnam by paying a fee to get into the program. Aside from this fact, if these veterinarians only studied in Vietnam you can be quite certain that their knowledge only covers large breed animals. Vets like Dr. Nghia are teaching students at Nong Lam University about small breed animal care but he is an exception to the rule! Ask your veterinarian about his/her qualification. Has he/she only studied in Vietnam? Vets have known to lie about their qualifications stating they studied abroad like in France. Questioned again, they’ll change their answer and say Japan or Germany. Be wary!! It is easy to fake a diploma here or state that you have oversea experience. But the result of this duplicity is catching up to certain vets as the number of pet fatalities is increasing and word is spreading through online forums, blogs and Facebook status updates.

3. CONCERN FOR THE ANIMAL. A friend of mine in Miami told me that she chose her vet because he always greeted her dog first when she went to his office. Simple though that is, it meant a lot to her that he did that. But don’t be taken in simply by a good bedside manner if your instincts tell you that something is not right. Will your vet’s advice always center on the well-being of the animal?

4. WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN TO, ANSWER QUESTIONS AND TO COMMUNICATE EASILY. As someone who is new to taking care of a pet, you want to feel able to ask your vet anything and have her give you just the right amount of information to help you do your job.

5. LOVE OF ANIMALS. Surprisingly, many people choose to become vets not because they love animals, but simply as a way of making a living. Does your vet have animals at home? Is he/she warm and comfortable around your animals when you bring them to the clinic? Does your vet sponsor or promote any animal rescue groups like A.R.C. Vietnam, Animals Asia, Primate Center? Ask. Ask. Ask.