A 5-Stars (out of 5) Vet in Hanoi! Meet Dr. Bao

25 05 2011
Veterinarian in Hanoi

What's up doc??

BEEP-BEEP- IT’S DR. BAO MOBILE VETERINARIAN TO THE RESCUE

Just moved to Hanoi and in need of a recommended veterinarian? According to The New Hanoian Dr. Bao is just a phone call away. From emergencies to basic check-ups, Dr. Bao is on many pet-owner’s speed dial (0903223217). According to one cat owner, “Dr. Bao is a lively, affable guy and provides a service which is definitely needed by foreigners living in Hanoi. One call and the good doctor and his assistant will show up at your home and treat your critter for whatever ails ’em. A strong English language ability, funny tales and a good bedside manner are all included free of charge.”

SAME SAME BUT VERY DIFFERENT 

Not all practicing veterinarians are qualified to treat small companion animals. To date, universities in Vietnam focus on livestock care/treatment. Teaching small animal medicine is an after-thought and still considered a “luxury”. But as the country continues to develop and modernize the need for well-trained “pet vets” will increase. Having just finished one of James Herriot’s books, it is interesting to note the similarities in attitudes. Back in the early 1930’s, England was still a highly agrarian society (much like Vietnam) thus the need for qualified “farm animal doctors” was very important. People back then often ridiculed those veterinarians who did practice companion animal medicine, claiming it to be a blue-blooded hobby and not a real profession unlike the livestock veterinarians.

A TAIL OF TWO RABBITS

According to one of Dr. Bao’s patient’s (owner), “Kim and Sophie were both supposed to be girls. Imagine my shock and surprise when we returned from a holiday to find them, er, wrestling all over the house….Dr Bao to the rescue! He came and gave the bunnies a physical and took Kim away for an overnight stay. Eventually peace, calm and cuteness restored to our house! Dr Bao dispenses advice on pet care and overall is keen to provide education on how to respect and provide better care for animals. I always leave his number if we are holidaying so our pet minders can call if him needed.”

TWO MORE “PET”IMONIALS

“5 stars for Dr Bau! Fantastic service. Attentive, passionate and he knows his stuff! The house calls help my puppy avoid infectious diseases in a ‘clinic’ environment. Now he is vaccinated without fuss and at a reasonable cost. A plan was written up for the next few months and I also received some great tips ad advice. My puppy would have left with him if he could’ve.”

“Dr Bau has treated my kitten many times, he lives on the same street as me and always comes very quickly when I call. He has perfect english and genuinely loves animals. Whenever I call him he answers and he is always very thorough with his consultation. He is extremely kind and caring. When my kitten was really ill he took him to his house and gave him an IV drip and checked him/fed him/played with him many times during the night. He is extremely cheap compared to western prices just a few dollars for a home visit, maybe more for houses further away, his service could not be better!”

Me-owwww....

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Pet-Friendly Hotel in Vietnam?

17 03 2011
Where to go with pets
“We’re goin’ for a ride!”

ANY PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN VIETNAM????

I’ll give you a quick answer, NO! As of now, there are no official pet-friendly hotels in Vietnam. But off the record, there are a number that will allow pets to stay if you can get someone to negotiate for you in Vietnamese. But before you start imagining yourself poolside at the Nam Hai or the Sofitels with Fifi, I have to let you know, all the 5-star hotels have a seriously strict NO DOGS, NO PETS allowed policy. Instead, look for the 2-star motels or any kind of backpacker establishment as a possible option. However, there IS one resort I know of in Vietnam who has a discreet pet-sort-of-friendly policy. It is a well-kept secret by many pet-owners in Hanoi. It is called the Van Chai Resort and it is about 170km (2.5-3 hours) outside of Hanoi. Pet Friendly Van Chai Click Here. The Resort is located on Sam Son beach, a private beachside sanctuary complete with indoor and outdoor pools, spa, and acres of well-maintained tropical gardens. Our three dogs got their first taste of freedom after a year of being on a leash in Hanoi. Van Chai is the PERFECT place to stay with your pets and a great escape from the pollution and mayhem of Hanoi.

Chillin poolside

We'd like 3 Liver-Daiquiris please!

WHERE’S THE S(PAW)??

Our dogs were over the moon at being able to run around the premise freely. At first they didn’t know what to do or where to go, they were so used to being leashed during their walks. I must stress that we went during the off-season, mid January, so it seemed like we were the only guests at the resort. Consequently, we were able to let our dogs run amok and explore to their heart’s content. Not sure, the management would be too thrilled to see dogs poolside during the peak season, with other guests lying around.

Van Chai Pet Friendly

"How's this pose? Did you get the boat in the background?"

PET-PARADISE!

With so much private beachfront, there was so much space for the dogs to explore and sniff around.  The hotel staff was also very friendly. However, it’s not the nicest beach, I’ve ever seen. Don’t expect a stunning seascape! The ocean is quite wild and the water is a chocolate brown color. The beach was dotted with broken shells and washed up “junk” yet it was a peaceful retreat after living in Hanoi. I am sure as the country continues to develop and pets become more popular, more hotels will consider changing their no pet policy to a pet-friendly one. As of now, the best place to go is Van Chai Resort, but please remember to pick up after your dogs so everyone can enjoy a clean, poop-free environment!

Van Chai beach and Nhopa

"I thought you said we're going to Miami Beach!"

"I'm going to pretend I don't notice you trying to do the peace sign behind my head!"

"I really dig this place because.... SQUIRREL!!!!!"

Van Chai and the Dogs

"Tam Biet Van Chai Resort! It was fun, although you should stock the mini-bar with bones instead of chocolate!!"





Spay-It Forward- ARC Vietnam’s Spay/Neuter Program

13 03 2011

Vietnam Spay and Neuter Program

ARC Vietnam Spay-It Forward Program

A MILLION REASONS TO SPAY OR NEUTER

Did you know, in 6 years, 1 female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies? In 7 years, 1 female cat and your young can produce 420,000 cats!

MS. NGUYEN THAO VI- AN ANGEL IN SAIGON

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Nguyen Thao Vi, in my opinion one of the kindest, most compassionate animal lovers in Vietnam! Ms. Nguyen is loved by many cat and dog owners around Ho Chi Minh City. Her online rescue and foster program, “Yeu Dong Vat” (Love Animal) has allowed for the successful placement of abandoned and abused kittens, cats, puppies and dogs around Saigon. Ms. Nguyen has a huge following on Facebook as many recognize her genuine compassion and love for those without a voice (animals). Ms. Nguyen is a truly inspirational figure, she inspires me and gives many hope that one day animal welfare will become a more common and accepted practice in Vietnam.

ARC’S 1ST LARGE SCALE SPAY & NEUTER MISSION

A.R.C. partnered with Ms. Nguyen and neutered and spayed seven of her favorite cats. A.R.C. members collected her cats and brought them to Saigon Pet Clinic where Dr. Nghia and his staff waited for the cats’ arrival. The surgery was a success and the cats went home the next day. Ms. Nguyen is happy to report that the cats are doing great!

A.R.C. advocates for low-cost spaying and neutering as the most effective means of preventing the births of dogs and cats in Ho Chi Minh City, and their subsequent abandonment, suffering and mass killing.

Spay-It Forward

Going to Get Tutored!

KNOW THE FACTS:

  • What are spaying and neutering?

The neutering operation for cats and dogs (spaying for females) is the best and safest method of pet birth control.

  • Are you scared of being bitten by a dog or cat with rabies?

By neutering or spaying, you reduce the number of dogs and cats on the street. Also, neutered/spayed animals are less likely to roam, run away or get into fights. It protects your pet from dangerous viruses spread through bite wounds.

  • Will my dog or cat become more aggressive after the operation?

No! Neutered/spayed animals are less likely to bite. 60%-80% of animals that bite people have not been sterilized. You can reduce the number of rabies cases by neutering/spaying your pet.

  • Will my dog or cat become stupid, fat and lazy after the operation?

No! Just like people, pets become overweight when they eat too much and/or exercise too little. The operation DOES NOT make your pet stupid, fat and lazy.

  • Will neutering/spaying reduce the lifespan of my pet?

No! Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. The operation eliminates uterine or ovarian cancer and reduces breast cancer.

  • Will my male dog/cat be less of a “man”?

No! Spayed or neutered pets are often less aggressive, more relaxed and even more affectionate. Male pets do not “miss or feel sad” after the operation. He doesn’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crises when neutered.

  • Why is neutering/spaying my cat good?

Neutering cats make them less likely to spray and mark territory. This reduces the bad smell from your cat spraying around your home.

  • Is it expensive?

No! Many clinics offer reasonable rates. It is the best investment you can make for your pet’s health and your family’s well-being. Saigon Pet can provide low-cost service to those in need.

  • Will my dog or cat experience a lot of pain?

No! Dogs and cats are anesthetized for the procedure. They will NOT feel the procedure, they will be asleep.

For more information on ARC’s Spay-It Forward Program, contact arcneuter@gmail.com.





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!





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