The clinic will offer several diagnostic facilities for all kinds of animals.
Here’s some good news for pet parents. Starting today, Chembur will serve as home to The Eye Vet, India’s first veterinary ophthalmology clinic and operation theatre.
The clinic will offer a range of animal vision-related facilities, from multiple diagnostics to check things like ocular pressure and tear-production, to biomicroscopes to examine the eyes; ocular ultrasound; electroretinogram to check the electrical activity of the retina (to see if animals have a functional retina); and an operation theatre kitted out with operating microscopes and an anesthetic machine with a ventilator. “These machines will be portable, so in case of emergencies, or if the patient is in trauma, we can go to them ourselves,” says Dr. Kasturi Bhadsavle, who will head the clinic.
While the ocular problems of animals have been a largely neglected area, there are specific breeds that suffer from severe eye-related problems. Pugs and cocker spaniels typically have dry eyes, bulging eyes, and progressive retinal atrophy because of the way they are bred. Then, there are eye diseases that are caused due to tick fever, and systematic issues such as cancer and diabetes.
Talking about the need for an eye clinic, Dr. Bhadsavle says: “I grew up in Saguna Baug in Neral, on a farm my father owns. We had horses, dogs, and cats, hens, peacocks, and snakes too. I always wanted to become a vet as I could see that there was no help available in our area.” After she completed a Master’s from Bombay Veterinary College, Dr. Bhadsavle picked her specialisation in ophthalmology and went abroad for further studies.
Back in India in 2017, Dr. Bhadsavle has been treating cats, dogs, iguanas, leopards, and even a black buck, in Pune and Mumbai. “I would come to Mumbai once a week and see almost 20 patients in a day,” she says. “I carried my equipment in the car to examine patients at different clinics. Vets in India are overburdened and have learned to make do with limited resources. That’s when I realised that we really need a specialised clinic.”
Based on her 12 years of experience as a veterinary ophthalmologist, Bhadsavle explains that surgery is only needed in 30 percent of the cases, and 70 percent involves medical management, so a current diagnosis is crucial. In fact, she has even examined several cases of pets who weren’t suited to live in India’s hot and humid climate but were still made available to eager customers.